YES…….SO, WHERE TO NOW IG?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah the wonderful logic of Jean D’Ark,  so precise and without rancour. Great piece that everyone should read.

Read this and weep Voreqe Bhainimarama, ig coupsters and  coup apologists, you’d have saved face if you’d only complied with the directives to hold elections last month, March 2009.

JEAN D’ARKS REPLY TO BUDHAU ON THE  ‘WHERE TO NOW IG?” POST………………………

Bud – sorry to have to rewind the clock a couple of days, but I’ve been too busy to blog over the past couple of days.

Anyway ” lets look at the facts: Over a five year period the SDL crowd doubled the public debt to $2.5 billion, that is 52% of GDP…”

Of course that is not as ideal a state of affairs – but it is hardly what anyone would call “bankrupt”. In fact, no reputable professional institution or academic ever made that claim. Sukhdev Shah tried it once, but has not repeated that mistake.

To take just one example for comparison, Ireland’s national debt level was nearly 100% before it embarked on its World Bank funded restructure program – and even that level it was never-ever referred to by anyone as “bankrupt”.

The meaning of “bankrupt” in the sense you are using it is basically the inability to pay debts or obligations when they fall due. That can become a problem if you have a lot of offshore debt obligations and get done in by unfavorable forex movements. But otherwise if most of your debt is local (as it is in Fiji’s case), it is relatively straightforward to estimate your future liquidity from economic growth forecasts against known debt repayment obligation schedules.

That is why the SDL Government’s 2005 Singapore bond float was over-subscribed by over 20 million dollars – the figures were pretty straightforward, and finance people who know how to check them didn’t find the national debt issue to be any significant risk to their repayment prospects.

What they didn’t know though, was that there were a whole bunch of clowns in Fiji who didn’t understand the basic fact that coups are FAR, FAR, FAR more damaging to an economy than a burgeoning national debt.

Compare that situation to today, where the national debt has been slightly reduced from previous levels. But were we to try a legitimate overseas bond float now, we wouldn’t see any real bidders for dust!

Your claims that there was no infrastructure expenditure under the SDL is flat-out false! They spent more money on infrastructure than ANY Government in Fiji’s history. These facts are easily verifiable from historical budget documentation.

The “consumption” you are referring to had nothing to do with capital and infrastructure spending. It existed as a result of the high operating cost of the civil service that was determined out of PSC negotiations and court precedent. The SDL couldn’t do anything about it then, and the IG is discovering that even guns and pro-Indian race-rhetoric can’t do anything about it today.

On the other hand, the main reason why Government’s Operating to Capital Expenditure ratio is so high in the first place, is due to none other than MP Chaudhry. In 1997, the then-RBF Board warned Government of the urgent need to alter this ratio from 80:20 to 70:30 if it wanted to have any real prospect of sustainable economic growth into the future. However ALL of the then-Government’s subsequent initiatives to bring Fiji into compliance with those guidelines were completely torpedoed in LoC negotiations and arbitration victories by Chaudhry as FPSA head.

Interestingly, one of Chaudhry’s main stated goals upon being appointed as iFM, was that he wanted to bring Government’s Op to Cap Exp ratio down from 80:20 to 70:30 . What hypocrisy!

As for Mahogany, I don’t know what you’re talking about. If anyone was going to run a scam on that, they surely wouldn’t have sat on their hands for six whole years and done nothing about it? They would have just jumped right in and had at it. But nothing happened.

And nothing is still happening. And that is a big problem, because the average age of Fiji’s Mahogany forests has now already passed the “useful” age of 30 years. But the IG still hasn’t got anything going with Mahogany. Thus another valuable resource is being pissed down the tube as a result of the 2006 coup and its subsequent lack of vision and management.

in the end, its easy to nitpick the SDL’s performance with 20:20 hindsight to see how they could have done better. But whatever you might think of their individual policy initiatives, the proof of their economic pudding comes down to one thing – economic growth. If you can’t generate that, nothing else really matters because growth means revenue, and revenue means the ability to fund projects, initiatives and operations.

In that respect, all the fine rhetoric and promises of the IG are meaningless because they have not been able to generate anywhere near the funding needed to fund implement their grand social engineering plans.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of school-leavers enter Fiji’s decelerating job market every year with less and less prospects of actually finding a job. The military makes a big fuss about the putative “threat to national security” of its still-faceless bogie of “ethno-nationalism”. Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem to recognize that the increasing flood of jobless youth in a flat or shrinking economy, is any cause for concern. Or might also prove to be an even more potent hotbed for ethno-nationalism than any Land Claims Tribunal, or Traditional Fishing Rights bill.

57 Responses to “YES…….SO, WHERE TO NOW IG?”

  1. Budhau Says:

    Jean, you started off with my comment, “…. lets look at the facts: Over a five year period the SDL crowd doubled the public debt to $2.5 billion, that is 52% of GDP…”

    And you took that one word “bankrupt” and went off on a tangent – and yes, Qarase and the SDL did drive Fiji to the brink of bankruptcy through those borrowings and through scamming, mismanagement and just plain old being incompetent.

    You made the argument that other countries have had higher percentages that the above- mentioned 52%. The point I was trying to make was not the 52% percent in itself, but the fact that the SDL, during a five-year period, had nearly doubled our public debt. Even that would not have been bad if we had something to show for it. BTW, in mid 2008 government’s debt levels have declined to 47% of the GDP from a high of 52% under the SDL. If we can achieve such a reduction in such trying times, why couldn’t your super star Minister of Finance do it in those good old days…..and that debt, most of that is held by the Fiji National Provident Fund

    The issue here is why did the SDL nearly DOUBLE the country’s public debt in five years with nothing to show for it.

    My second point was that when we look at our overall economic performance – the high GDP growth of 9.2% in 1999 to less than approximately 1% in 2006. OK, so I will buy into the theory that some of that contraction was due to the 2000 coup but why didn’t things pick up. The numbers kept on declining year after year to an all time low in 2005/06 – The economy expanded by about 1.7% in 2005, after average growth of 3.4% from 1999 to 2004.

    Some positive news that we had was despite the SDL – We saw a recovery in the tourism sector and that led to growth in the construction industry. BTW, you may not remember that far back (that time warp thingie) but is was Chaudary who did ground-breaking ceremony for the Hilton Hotel. The Sofitel Hotel and the second phase of TrendWest were also FLP initiatives and we had for the first time more than 400,000 visitor when Labour was around – and yes did cut the budget for the FVB.

    The big thing however was the remittance – $50 million in 1999 to $300 million the largest source of foreign exchange only after tourism – all them Fijians leaving to work abroad.

    We had a deficit of 9.0% of GDP that went up to double digits in 2006. The reason of the deficit was the declining exports. Under SDL we saw a decline in industries like sugar, garment, gold, fisheries and timber and that is the reason why the exports were down substantially compared to the 1999/2000 levels. Economic growth slowed further in 2005/06, though tourism and related hotel activity continued to expand.

    BTW, the deficit in 2008 was around 2%.

    SDL ran on a campaign promise of helping the poor. During the SDL reign we have had this move from the rural areas to the squatter settlements – more than 100,000 Fijians living under bad sanitary conditions with no water and electricity. That shows a failure of the SDL policy to address the issues of the rural Fijians – when rural poverty stands at 40%. There are more Fijians today that live as squatters than ever before.

    When we have growth, we create jobs – when the we had no growth or very little growth as under the SDL, that does not generate employment and with that employment we have income that reduces poverty and improves economic welfare.

    What we have seen with the SDL are policies that promoted the interest of a select group of associates at the expense of ordinary Fijians. Combine that with corruption and mismanagement and outright incompetence – and this is what we get – a disaster.
    Old boy Naisoro so aptly put it when he referred to these SDL buggers as “unemployable imbeciles”.

    This thing is getting much longer than I expected, here is just few other things.

    You wrote, “On the other hand, the main reason why Government’s Operating to Capital Expenditure ratio is so high in the first place, is due to none other than MP Chaudhry.”

    Fact: The SDL continued to finance a greater proportion of the operating expenditure from loans. This has risen from 22% in 2001 to an unbelievable 55% in 2004, the highest in the past 10 years.” What Chaudary have to do with this increase.

    You wrote, “Your claims that there was no infrastructure expenditure under the SDL is flat-out false! They spent more money on infrastructure than ANY Government in Fiji’s history. These facts are easily verifiable from historical budget documentation.”

    Well I did do some research – and found that despite a substantial increase of $139 million in borrowings in 2004, compared to 2003, expenditure on capital projects declined by $39 million.

    While borrowing heavily to finance capital projects is justified, these buggers were borrowing heavily not to finance capital projects or create assets to boost the economy but to fuel consumption.

    Mahogany
    You wrote, “As for Mahogany, I don’t know what you’re talking about. If anyone was going to run a scam on that, they surely wouldn’t have sat on their hands for six whole years and done nothing about it?”

    Facts: The FLP government was about to embark on a joint venture deal with the Commonwealth Development Corporation to harvest mahogany and for downstream processing, guaranteed to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars when they were couped.
    Speight was making a deal to harvest Mahogany with the US firm Trans Resource Management – Remember.
    Fiji does have the world’s richest mahogany resources. So what did Qarase do over the six years that followed. You go look at the SDL 2006 budget and see if there is any indication of government’s policy on mahogany……and you are now complaining that the Mahogany has matured and the IG is not doing anything about it…that is funny.

    While Speight, nine years ago, followed by the FLP were planning to begin the harvest of Mahogany which had matured – what did the SDL do – they have had some harvesting on a trial basis.

    The SDL mahogany connection – Jale Baba – a forestry graduate of the Australian National University, he worked for Fiji Pine Limited for more than 20 years, before leaving in 1999 to start his own company- Baba Forests. (BTW he left Fiji Pine in 1999, right after old boy Leweniqila fired Kubuabola, Naisoro, and Yabaki from Fiji Pine.). Jale Baba, campaign director of SDL, general secretary and direcotor SDL, Naisoro, incharge of candidate selection for SDL and chief strategist.

    Here is some interesting cut and paste stuff:

    “On 16 December 2005, Baba was accused by two Senators of corruption. Senator Ponipate Lesavua alleged that Baba, along with Laisenia Qarase, Jr. (the son of Laisenia Qarase, Fiji’s Prime Minister) and Lalesh Shankar (another SDL official), benefited from a mahogany harvest at Sote Village in Tailevu. Baba was subcontracted to Fiji Hardwood and was operating an illegal circular saw, Lesavua maintained, while Qarase Jr. and Shankar owned a company called Trapper Haulage, which had been granted the contract. “This is nepotism in its highest degree,” Lesavua said. Another Senator, Ratu Dr. Epeli Nailatikau, alleged that the Fiji Development Bank had lent Baba F$79,600 for six months, then F$24,000 three months later, to buy the saw. He questioned why Baba should be granted such loans, when the landowners themselves were not.”

    On the Mahogany deal – we can start of with Speight and his US connections, than go through the scamming that went on through the SDL years and the failure of SDL to get the harvesting started due to incompetence – it is the landowners who are the losers.

    Speight while working for Fiji Hardwood was paid $US26K as consulting fee by the US company that wanterd to harvest the Mahogany.

    The FLP government engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to get bids and recommend a company that could harvest the Mahogany and it was PWC who recommended Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).

    Then came Qarase, who was opposed to CDC, and he did not do anything for the next six years and you are now blaming the IG for not doing anything.

  2. Save the Sheep Says:

    Swings and roundabouts all of you.

    The bottom line is that we need a system of government which is answerable to the people.

    Till then all of this is just meaningless tit for tat BS

  3. OjO Says:

    The 1997 constitution is aboragated

  4. hillybilly Says:

    Well what a big mess again ay!! Isa, we all know very well who wrote that speech — not iloilo. Hes just a puppet on a string.
    Here we go again, further slipping down the drain.
    Please God help us on this special Day!

  5. OjO Says:

    Qarase is full of smiles what an imbecile does he not realise he may have won the battle but has just lost the war.

  6. hillybilly Says:

    This is the huge celebration that was prophesied and then mourning in the middle of it. The whole country is now plunged into darkness.
    Dear Lord, help them that are evil amoung us who call themselves leaders.

  7. hillybilly Says:

    evil one are those illegal leader and IG appointees.
    The president sounds sick..cough cough , excuse me, excuseme……please be excused forever.

  8. Bin Ladin Says:

    So far Bud 110 points, JD 60 points!.

    Okay folkes its now up to us to rescue our nation from this thugs!. Enough of the smart ass comments! and name calling which does not get us anywhere!. Enough of the horses for causes approach of protesting peacefully on this blog so no one gets hurt!. Qara has done his part and the courts and the judges have played their part!…its all to no avail!. The peoples power have yet to play their part………This is the time folkes!….Please can we organise a rally of some sort. I will be there with my banner demanding democracy at once!. If i got bashed by the goons and so be it!. Freedom comes with a price!….and im willing!.

  9. Indigenous Says:

    The abrogation of the constitution is of no surprise but let us see how far this usurpers will go to bring down this country.

  10. Kaiviti Says:

    You are correct hillybilly….we are heading towards that period, we are still rejoicing over our Hong Kong win after 10yrs in the dumps and then a great disater befalls our nation…..what greater disaster than knowing that our nation is truly heading for the dogs! What chance have we now unless we have outside help! Cmon Australia, do the right thing and get cranky franky off our backs! All the military men at the barrcks are all a bunch of weak kneed, lilly livered gun toting sissies that couldnt tell the difference between a monkey and their leader!

  11. Kaiviti Says:

    Gud on ya Bin Ladin….Let the Power of the People arise!!!!!

  12. ex Fiji tourist Says:

    As president bernie has illegally got rid of the constitution and sacked all the judges, it will be a foregone conclusion as to which bum lickers will be appointed as judges.

    As justice is now not available in Fiji, nations should up their travel warnings to reflect this.

    The Australian govt should put pressure on P & O to stop sending cruise ships to a military dictatorship.

    The UN must act immediately (via Helen Clark) and send home all Fijian so-called ‘peacekeepers’.

  13. OjO Says:

    People can you not see this all was a setup engineered by the Interim Government they had plans for and since the usurpation to abrogate the 1997 constitution but did not have balls to do so for reason known only to them.

    What occurred yesterday worked right into their plans all along these three judges may have unknowingly handed to the interim government means to allow for such abrogation.

    Judge Gates also knowingly allowed the first case to slide in favor of the IG for fear of such occurrences.

    No matter what Fiji was on edge of the precipice under Qarase’s time in office now it would be safe to say Fiji has just entered the orifice of the abyss.

  14. Willy Says:

    Happy Easter my friends, it took these wankers more than 2 years to come out and show their true colors. Now there is no doubt left what Fiji is. I imagine that nobody will have the balls to do something against the tyrants and here you go down the drain real fast…

  15. Budhau Says:

    I wrote this before the ruling came out:

    “Talking about bullying – get ready, the military regime is starting to play hardball – BTW if the ruling this afternoon comes out against the regime, then get ready – because they will abrogate the constitution, and Driti will be giving more “advice” to the Interim PM.

    Let’s see how the Military Council rules instead of the Cabinet.”

    OK – so now we have a full fledged military junta that will be running the country through the cabinet appointed by the President.

    So when are you going to learn – unless you are willing and able to bring this government to its knees, figure out a way of negotiating – suing in court ain’t gonna help…and the UN they are not going to come in help.
    So what exactly was Qarase trying to achieve – trying to solve a political problem by getting a court victory.

  16. senijiale Says:

    No Ojo! It’s not a set-up, they’re too stupid for that – the emperor has been luva-i-wale since 5/12!! Duh………………

    These USURPING, THIEVING, LOW-DOWN CRIMINALS AND THEIR FAMILIES are simply backed up against the wall (where usurping criminals always, eventually end up) and have no other choice to avoid impending JAIL-TERMS as every person, dog and cat, in this country KNOW FULLY well the implications of yesterday’s landmark decision! Duh……………

    The Court of Appeal judges as well as law-abiding citizens of this country who truly respect the Constitution and Rule of Law simply cannot and will not “ever” compromise the Constitution (like illegal fake judges of the high court have!) or “ever” negotiate with terrorists for their scot-free terms. This is the way it has to be. People will have to decide how to fight for the things they truly believe in.

  17. ex Fiji tourist Says:

    Now Fijians and diplomats can cut out the pretense of calling the puppet;- ‘his excellency’.

    Now when referring to ‘bernie’, all they need to say is; ‘treasonous, useless, gutless, common criminal’.

  18. Daunimisini Says:

    To Budhau:

    Qarase’s victory was a milestone in constitutional governance.
    It exposed the truth. It revealed to everyone to see that what was done was wrong.
    In their cowardice, those who committed the treasonous act of usurption of government 2 yrs ago did not have the guts to carry it out efficiently.
    Now they hide behind s senile pressie to do it for them.

    Now they are all in the soup with their senile grandpa. The day of reckoning will come for them. Remember Cromwel? Even in his grave he could not escape the long hands of justice. He was tried posthumously and charged with treason for which he was sentenced to death by hanging.
    All those IG and those who will be joining the new ig will now know that they are joining somethng illegal and will one day face justice.

  19. Budhau Says:

    Daunimisini wrote “Qarase’s victory was a milestone in constitutional governance.It exposed the truth. It revealed to everyone to see that what was done was wrong.”

    Didn’t Chaudary do the same in the Chandrika Prasad case and Qarase chose to circumvent that court decision.

    Senijiale – “…law-abiding citizens of this country who truly respect the Constitution and Rule of Law simply cannot and will not “ever” compromise the Constitution.”

    Respect of the constitution – when did we ever have respect of the constitution?

  20. senijiale Says:

    Bud – I understand where you’re coming from but will not accept it as justification – tit for tat for the mess we’re in. I’m sorry but people like you belong to the past.

  21. OjO Says:

    This latest occurrences would have wiped that big smirk of Qarase’s face, such is the greed of men it simply knows no bounds thus is the truth.

  22. Indigenous Says:

    The ruling by the appeals court basically nullifies everything the interim regime have done so far.

  23. Daunimisini Says:

    The problem budhau is you and your favotite uncle chaudhry.

    The nation is coming to a boiling point where you and your favorite uncle will soon face the music.
    …Read between the lines….”your days are numbered”

  24. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Bud – you need to ask yourself what has your minor debt reduction from 52% to 47% achieved for Fiji?

    Like the IG, you have fixated on a particular issue to the exclusion of all else. It is like deciding in a rugby game that “tightheads won” is the key to victory, and then forgetting about all the other game stats – including the score.

    You also don’t seem to understand that debt levels in and of themselves are not the sole determinant of one’s ability to pay. Even more important are your revenues and revenue prospects. And in that respect, the pre-2006 Government was much better placed to meet Fiji’s debt obligations @ 52% of GDP, than the IG is today at 47% (or even 37%). That is why they are now slashing their CapEx budgets by 50%, despite the fact that the global crisis will not result in anywhere near that kind of reduction on tax revenues.

    Meanwhile, nearly all the serious economists and financial institutions are advocating a debt-funded fiscal expansion program (of capital works etc.) as the best way to get Fiji out of its current 2006-coup-mess. But Frank (and Mahen before him) stubbornly fixate onto the national debt issue: 1. because it is a political “point of difference” between them and the SDL, and because; 2. they simply don’t have enough macro-financial grounding or instincts to know any better. They are at the mercy of advisors who don’t know what they’re talking about and the results are there for everyone to see.

    The point here is not whether the SDL is the best government that has ever ruled a nation. The point is, are they better than the other available choices. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea – and there is certainly room for improvement in some of their policies and decisions. But the point is they are MILES better than the IG (Chaudhry included). None of the other stats you point out really matter, because the only apples-to-apples comparison is in post-coup economic recovery. The SDL may only have scored a “C minus” or “B Plus” in that regard. But that is still preferable to Frank and Mahen’s combined “F Plus”.

    The 2006 coup was over in less than a month with MINIMAL economic disruption. The Government had a reasonably stable platform to begin its recovery program. By contrast, the 2000 coup dragged on for months, and was still causing stability problems over 7 months later (mutiny). Yet the 2000 IG still managed to restrict the economic decline from that far worse crisis to only -1.8% of GDP. Compare that with the shock of the 2007 fall which plummeted by -6.6% despite facing a far milder initial coup disruption that it needed to recover from in the first place.

    (Incidentally, I wonder why the BOS has not released Fiji’s 2008 macro-economic data yet. I suspect that the RBF’s sudden urgency over Fiji’s economic prospects has just as much to do with the REAL 2008 picture, as it does with the threat of the global crisis – and now, the purported “abrogation” of the Constitution).

    I’m not sure why you brought up the 2008 Budget deficit, Bud. That 2% figure was only a forecast – the reality is likely to be much worse because of the unlikelihood of them actually achieving their estimated growth of 2%. Plus the fact that expenditure would have been hard to contain as the military no doubt busted their budget by millions AGAIN in 2008 (hence their $10million plus hike for 2009).

    So sure – we had declines in those industries you mentioned. But guess what, ALL those industries you mentioned have declined EVEN FURTHER under the IG. At least pre-2006 there was STILL some positive overall growth to show for all those declines. But there are absolutely NO mitigating factors around today.

    Ditto for the poverty figures you mentioned. During the SDL’s reign the breakdown ran to: 25% Under the Poverty Line; 15% On or About the Poverty Line, and; 10% Just Above the Poverty Line. But NOW according to most estimates the whole bang lot of them have fallen below the poverty line thanks to the 2006 coup and subsequent mismanagment.

    You have to remember that one of Frank’s main rationales for the coup was that “something had to be done” to arrest Fiji’s continuing decline. So what exactly WAS done? How has any decline been arrested? What is better now than it was is 2006? How did Frank or Mahen “help” anything, and how are we better off for their “necessary intervention”?

    You wrote “Well I did do some research – and found that despite a substantial increase of $139 million in borrowings in 2004, compared to 2003, expenditure on capital projects declined by $39 million.”
    What you should have done there Bud, was to continue your research. Then you would have discovered that the reason capital expenditure declined in 2004 is because Frank busted his ’03 and ’04 budgets by a combined $35 million. So important capital projects like the Savusavu and Kadavu wharf and airport upgrades all had to be put on hold so that those valuable funds could be re-directed to marching allowances and coup-plotting.

    In any case, what is the point of comparing the SDL government to itself? If you want to show they spent less on capital infrastructure that the PCG or the PIG, then you need to compare those figures!
    You are right – the SDL bungled the Mahogany issue. But at least there was still hope for some kind of resurrection in 2006. But any small hopes that remained then have been all but extinguished now.

    But not before Frank gave away Government’s 50% stake in Fiji’s forests to landowners for nothing! It was a naked play at buying indigenous “support” for the IG. The value of those forests ran to hundreds of millions of dollars – some say even into the billions. If you want to strain out the gnat of Baba’s small-time rorts, but forget about the camel of Frank’s naked vote-buying giveaway (that didn’t even work anyway) then that is up to you. But most normal people would know hot to keep these two misdeeds in some kind of perspective.

    Incidentally, in case you didn’t notice, Baba was (quietly) removed as SDL secretary after his shady deals caught up with him in the lead-up to the 2006 elections.

  25. Budhau Says:

    Jean – just so that we are on the same page, let me take your arguments/reasoning one at a time.

    So you think it is me who is fixated on one particular issue – I, on the other hand, believe that your life revolves around Chaudary.

    My arguments in my previous post were relatively generalized – that while the SDL took over just after a coup, our country’s economy was in a much better position and the SDL could have improved on it. However, all available statistics show that SDL took over and things went down from the word go. The thing is not the debt at 52% of GDP – the point is that they did that in a short period of time. The fact is not the 1% growth – but that we had a 9% growth in 1999 and that went down to 1% or so in 2006.
    As for the ability to pay issue that you raised – sure this IG is no position to pay its debts as was the SDL or any other government – but that does not say much, does it?
    The IG reducing the public debt from 52% to 47% in nothing minor – especially under the circumstances

    You wrote, “Meanwhile, nearly all the serious economists and financial institutions are advocating a debt-funded fiscal expansion program (of capital works etc.) as the best way to get Fiji out of its current 2006-coup-mess. But Frank (and Mahen before him) stubbornly fixate onto the national debt issue: 1. because it is a political “point of difference” between them and the SDL, and because; 2. they simply don’t have enough macro-financial grounding or instincts to know any better. They are at the mercy of advisors who don’t know what they’re talking about and the results are there for everyone to see.”

    So you seem to have figured out all this is all about – the economic part, however, the folks advising the IG on matters related to finance “don’t know what they are talking about.”

    You wrote, “The point here is not whether the SDL is the best government that has ever ruled a nation. The point is, are they better than the other available choices.”

    I tend to disagree with that – I think the SDL crowed were one of the biggest bunch of losers that we had ever seen in Fijian politics. The sooner you realize it, the better. It is time to move on. I think the Fijians can produce better leaders than these buggers.
    The SDL crowd was a bunch of thieves, stealing from their own home.
    We saw these losers in action today, when they thought that they could solve a political problem with a law suit – and get back to the trough.

    You wrote, “The 2006 coup was over in less than a month with MINIMAL economic disruption.”
    That is a load of horse puckey. The International community is still trying to hurt this IG by hurting the economy – and it has been a uphill battle for the IG since 2006. The 2000 coup, the moment a Interim civilian government was put in place, the international community jumped on the bandwagon. As to post 2000 stability – look at the arrival of the tourists and that will tell you how stable Fiji was back than. Now that we have established that the 2000 coup was over, the moment we had the “civilian” government – now you go first compare the contraction of the GDP numbers – it wasn’t no -1.8% of GDP and the reason of the lower numbers was because we were in a much better economic shape going into the 2000 coup, than the 2006, where Qarase and company had run the economy into the ground.

    As for the non-release of numbers – did you figure out how long it took the SDL to release those same numbers.

    You wrote, “I’m not sure why you brought up the 2008 Budget deficit, Bud. That 2% figure was only a forecast – the reality is likely to be much worse because of the unlikelihood of them actually achieving their estimated growth of 2%.”
    Oh, so you know how this forecast thingie works – just like in 2005 the projected growth was revised down to 1.5% from an earlier forecast of 4.2%. For 2006, the picture was even more grim with growth expected to fall to 0.7% from an estimated 3%. Qarase knew how to play this game really well specially when it was leading up to an election – that I think is a bigger fraud than me mentioning projections in this forum.

    So Jane, when I mention the failures of SDL, that doesn’t mean that I endorse the IG or that I am suggesting that the IG is doing better. If you objectively look at the performance of the SDL under the circumstances – almost any other political party, including the FLP would have done better than these incompetent fools.
    The reason I brought up this subject was because some idiot in here suggested that why didn’t we bring in the former SDL Finance Minister to deal with our current economic woes.

    You wrote, “At least pre-2006 there was STILL some positive overall growth to show for all those declines.” You need positive growth year after year to provide employment for the population – and low growth as in this case, year after year, show the failure of the SDL policies.

    You wrote, “Ditto for the poverty figures you mentioned. During the SDL’s reign the breakdown ran to: 25% Under the Poverty Line; 15% On or About the Poverty Line, and; 10% Just Above the Poverty Line.”
    Your 25% below poverty line – that crap has been pushed by Qarase and company for a very long time. Here, I will quote Waden Narsey, “In 1991, the national incidence of poverty in Fiji was 29 per cent (not 25 per cent as has been quoted for more than a decade) this is the percentage of Fiji’s population considered to be below the “Poverty Line”.

    Now, that was in 1991 – let me give you some reasons as to why things have gone downhill from then on.
    In 1992 they introduced the VAT, the devaluation of the currency, the non-renewal of leases, the downturn in the sugar industry, the 2000 coup – all these created more poverty. The 1996 census report found that 46.8% of folks in full time employment earned below the poverty line. In 2003, the Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Asenaca Caucau herself had claimed that 50% are at of below poverty line. There was a FPSA submission on COLA that said 40% of the civil servants were paid less than the tax threshold of $8500. A report by Father Kevin Barr and Prof. Vijay Naidu found that 83% of Fiji’s workers were earning wages below the poverty line.
    Narsey’s figures – About 47% of rural Indians and 39% of rural Fijians are below poverty line. For those rural Indians – it was Qarase policies that has kept them in poverty – the decline of the sugar industry, the collapse of the garments industry, and the expiry of land-leases. So where was the affirmative action for these rural Indians. If you just go by the numbers, since Fijians are a majority, they have the largest share of the poor about 53% while Indians are at about 44%.
    I think, under the new rules, proposed by the IG, hopefully in future some of that affirmative action/poverty alleviation money will go to these poor folks.
    So do you see how things went from bad to worse under the SDL – or maybe you can make the Caucau argument that many of the beggars were actually rich folks owning homes that had been rented out. I guess those beggars were all collecting money for the SDL’s campaign funds for the 2006 general elections.
    You see, Jane the point here is not whether we are any better of under this IG – no we are not. However, many feel that we will come out of this as a better society than what it was under the SDL – and this is the price that people are willing to pay – just like they paid the price for the 1987 coup and the 2000. In future, there will always be folks who will believe that they would be better off having a temporary set back when the final solution would mean a better quality of life.
    Sure, the SDL was trying to bridge the gap between Fijians and Fiji-Indians – you see, on the average, about 90 per cent of the Fijian households are somewhat better-off than 90 per cent of Fiji-Indian households.
    The problem was that in the top 10%, those Indians were ahead of the Fijians by about 15% in income per capita. So Qarase and the SDL – their goal was to make the rich Fijians richer – to catch up with those 10% Indians – by 2020.
    BTW – those poor Indians, those numbers are skewed, because some of the best and the brightest, those who had a better income, they already left the country. Whereas those Fijian, migration is not that significant.
    As for Fijian unemployment – Qarase would like us to believe that only 3-5% of the Fijian are unemployed. When you look at all those not working a full eight hours per day – the underemployed crowd, the unemployment is around 30% for Fijians. That explains why thousands of young Fijian males show up for police, military and security recruitment.
    Jane, don’t compare the SDL with the IG – we will compare the SDL with the next democratically elected government. If only they had let FLP serve out its term when they were elected – we would now have the statistics to compare…and I still believe that a Chaudary government would have a lot more to show for that these SDL thieving losers.

    Jale Baba was not removed from the SDL for his “shady deals” (as you put it) it was the infighting within the SDL – those buggers started fighting among themselves. Naisoro, the strategist dude – no longer with SDL, and Jale Baba was a Naisoro loyalist so he went out, It was kalokalo who made his move to solidify his position in SDL by kicking out these guys with the support of Tueli, Vosarogo and Sotia. It is Kinivuwai who is holding the party together – the rest are a bunch of grog swipers – kanaloto gang.
    So don’t tell me that they have seen what Jale was up to and they did a clean up campaign.

    As for that Mahogany “.. value of those forests ran to hundreds of millions of dollars.” – thats not the point, the issue is how much of that millions would the landowners would have seen – just like the Fiji Pine.

  26. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Bud – I think you’re starting to argue for the sake of arguing now! And I’m not even really sure which one of you FLP ghost-writers I’m actually dealing with anymore either.

    Anyway, you say you disagree with my assertion that the SDL is the best of a bad bunch as far as leadership choices are concerned. You are entitled to your opinion.

    But the ONLY legitimate apples-to-apples comparison available (2001 “growth” vs. 2007 “growth”) suggests that my opinion is at least resting on some kind of objectivity.

    Most normal people would not be subject to an irrational hatred of the SDL, or an irrational phobia towards national debt. And so we would expect most of them (like swing and marginal voters) to base their opinions on some kind of objective reality as well.

    You wrote “the International community is still trying to hurt this IG by hurting the economy”. Well, comparing apples-to-apples again, why is that? The 2001 IG also faced the same threat. The fact that it chose to abide by perfectly reasonable international standards on the rule of law, was no big deal as it was in Fiji and her peoples’ interests to do so.

    The same still applies today. There is NOTHING to stop the 2007 IG doing exactly what the 2001 IG did, and take the nation expeditiously to democratic elections. The fact that they have not done so is nobodies fault but their own. So if that has a negative effect on our economy, whose choice, and whose responsibility, was that?

    You wrote “did you figure out how long it took the SDL to release those same numbers”. BoS stats on growth and all other indicators have always been released every year, year on year, around Feb/March of the following year. But they were late last year, and they’re still not available this year. Wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the BoS boss is Frank’s brother?

    Growth forecasts and performances may not have matched during the SDL reign, but that is par for the course for all governments. The point is that the eventual figures were all positive, and the 5-year average for the democratically-elected SDL government of 2002-2006 was the highest 5-year average for ANY government in Fiji’s independent history. And that was WITH all the faults you pointed out.

    You wrote “Your 25% below poverty line – that crap has been pushed by Qarase and company for a very long time”. Point taken. But let me ask then, which figure was closer to to Narsey’s 29% figure? Your 40%, or my 25%?

    You wrote “it was Qarase policies that has kept them in poverty – the decline of the sugar industry, the collapse of the garments industry, and the expiry of land-leases”. Maybe so, but ALL those trends have continued under the IG, and poverty is worse now than it was then. This only bears out my “best of a bad bunch” argument.

    You wrote “many feel that we will come out of this as a better society than what it was under the SDL” Really? Why not put it to a vote then, and let’s see? Or if you want to consider the surrogate of “voting with your feet”, why have Indian emigration figures out of Fiji not slowed down at all since 2006?

    You wrote “If only they had let FLP serve out its term when they were elected…” Yep, you’re right. But what has that got to do with what we should do NOW? Is this really just about revenge for you, Bud?

  27. Adi Kaila Says:

    Bravo Jean d’Ark! ENCORE! ENCORE!

    Your accurate precis is completely misunderstood by Budhau because of his extreme racism and xenophobia.

    He’s a common bully and it doesn’t work here because we’re not weak.

    Weakness of the mind and soul is an inherent trait of bullies as you would be well aware of.

    Love your repartee.

  28. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Thanks AK!

    But I don’t really think Bud’s a bully. He (or rather, they) is more of a sneering xenophobe – just can’t live and let live.

    Well actually even that’s not accurate either, because Bud is a paid (or delegated) operative under specific mission instructions to do what he’s (they’re) doing here.

    Maybe his personality does shine through that – but his mission would require him to be nasty and sneering in any case so as to douse the spirited missives that arise against Mahen here.

    What really puzzles me is why the FLP should feel it necessary to spend SO much time, money and effort trying to smother free expression on this forum.

    It’s like the opposite of preaching to the choir!

    Because it’s not as if its going to make much of a difference anyway. Even when Bud wins arguments here it doesn’t change much. At the end of the day, people are still left facing the cold, hard reality of Frank’s misrule.

    And that trumps Buds’ deliberately disruptive obfuscation any day.

  29. Bin Ladin Says:

    Thanks again guys!. Now Bud 100 points JD 70 points!.

  30. Budhau Says:

    Well, well – so now you begin that attempt to distract the uninformed by personally attacking Bud – isn’t that called the ad Hominem thingie – attacking the messenger….. “he is not a bully, more of a sneering xenophobe (racist Indian)….a paid operative with a mission…. A certain personality type.”

    BTW…. How am I, or FLP (allegedly), trying to smother free expression in this forum. I actually like the exchange….you may have a point of view that I do no agree with …. So we have an exchange. And how is this disruptive. Would you want me leave – and that way you would only have folks in here who are supportive of your point of view.

    OK having said that, lets go down the line and analyze what you said.
    You wrote, “Most normal people would not be subject to an irrational hatred of the SDL, or an irrational phobia towards national debt.”
    Lets disregard the abnormal dude with the irrational hatred and irrational phobia bit. The point I was making about the national debt was that the SDL, in a very short time, doubled the debt. Combine that with the fact that they do not have anything to show for that debt. That was in response to someone in here who suggested that we bring in the former SDL Finance Minister to deal will our current economic crisis.

    BTW, I have no problem with national debt per se – you usually borrow money for capital expenditure, not to pay your day to day bills.

    Discussing which way the middle of the road voters will vote, you wrote “And so we would expect most of them (like swing and marginal voters) to base their opinions on some kind of objective reality as well.”
    I disagree with you, I think that with the polarization that we have, the voters will go to one end or the other. The Indian voters will tend to vote against Qarase, because of their perception that a Qarase victory will be payback time for the Indians. On the other hand, the Fijians will try and regroup under the Qarase banner because of the bogey man threat, that the Indians are out to get them. It should be noted that it is in Qarase’s interest to play that racist, bogey man card…with the larger Fijian population, racial polarization will tend to benefit Qarase…. That lesson about polarization – they learned from Carl Rowe in the US, then used it in the UK, NZ and Australia….if works.

    You wrote, “You wrote “the International community is still trying to hurt this IG by hurting the economy”. Well, comparing apples-to-apples again, why is that? The 2001 IG also faced the same threat. The fact that it chose to abide by perfectly reasonable international standards on the rule of law, was no big deal as it was in Fiji and her peoples’ interests to do so.”

    The difference between 2001 and 2006 is that in 2001, immediately after the coup, while we had a Interim Government, it was a “civilian” govt., and an election date was announced immediately. This time around we do not have a “civilian” government and no date for an election has been announced. Thus, in 2000, the International community was more than happy to work with the Interim Government, this time around, they are not – you get the difference.

    One of the reasons for the sanction is to put economic pressure on the current IG – thus the comment about hurting Fiji’s economically. It is expected that sanctions may convince the IG to announce an earlier election – that is why we do not have the $350 m EU money. I brought this up to explain why it is harder for Fiji to do well economically this time around, as compared to the last time…that is why Chaudary had a harder task compared to the Minister of Finance in the Interim government after the 2000 coup.

    Yes, there is nothing stopping the IG to announce an immediate election, and get the foreign aid flowing – however, they have decided to pay that price for the changes that they prose. That $350 m EU money – people keep mentioning that why doesn’t Chaudary put pressure on FB and announce the election date and the farmers will get the money. Why can’t you understand that – there is a price to pay when you take such a stand. When the landowners refused to renew the leases for a political reasons, they made a conscious decision to forego that lease money to make a political statement. The Indian farmer is willing to forego that EU money so that his grand son can aspire to become the Prime Minister or President of Fiji, or his poor nephew can collect on a affirmative action scholarship.

    You wrote, “So if that has a negative effect on our economy, whose choice, and whose responsibility, was that?”

    Yes, no one denying that if the IG announces an election today, our economy will improve. All I am saying is that by not announcing an election and attempting to bring about the proposed changes, Minister of Finance has a very difficult task and you cannot compare his performance with what happened under a different set of conditions – in your own words, this is not a apples-to-apples comparison. Thus, Chaudary had a very difficult task, and I think he did fine under the circumstances.

    You wrote on the SDL figures, “The point is that the eventual figures were ALL POSITIVE, and the 5-year average for the democratically-elected SDL government of 2002-2006 was the highest 5-year average for ANY government in Fiji’s independent history. And that was WITH all the faults you pointed out.”

    You miss the point the here. First, where did you get that all time record numbers from. Secondly having a 1% growth, while positive, that is not acceptable in normal times. The growth rates required to add jobs to the economy, you need to do better than that. That is why more graduates and school-leavers couldn’t find jobs, and many including Fijians where migrating and other lived in poverty.

    Jane, while commenting on my statement you said, “You wrote “Your 25% below poverty line – that crap has been pushed by Qarase and company for a very long time”. Point taken. But let me ask then, which figure was closer to to Narsey’s 29% figure? Your 40%, or my 25%?”

    First, Narsey’s figures of 29% below poverty line was for 1991 – I pointed out so many factors that have increased those numbers. Not only did you have an incorrect number, but you were quoting 1991 figures, just like Qararse had been doing for years. Secondly we are talking about poor folks who at AT or BELOW poverty line. Now, you take the figures of those below poverty line (the 29% or the 25%) and add that to those at poverty line – you do the math and see who was right, the 25% OR THE 40-50%.

    You argued, “You wrote “it was Qarase policies that has kept them in poverty – the decline of the sugar industry, the collapse of the garments industry, and the expiry of land-leases”. Maybe so, but ALL those trends have continued under the IG, and poverty is worse now than it was then. This only bears out my “best of a bad bunch” argument.”

    You don’t get it do you – let me put it as simply as possible. The IG is not here to solve the specific problems of our country. They are not claiming to do that. All the IG is trying to to put in place a system that would guarantee that we have a more responsible and accountable government – Now that government would than address the specific problems and hopefully we will have a better society.

    You argued, “You wrote “many feel that we will come out of this as a better society than what it was under the SDL” Really? Why not put it to a vote then, and let’s see? Or if you want to consider the surrogate of “voting with your feet”, why have Indian emigration figures out of Fiji not slowed down at all since 2006?”

    Two points here. First, yes they will put it to vote – once we have a electoral system that guarantees that every vote counts equally. As for the voting with feet – from 1987 onwards, the Indians were “pushed” out of Fiji, now, in the short term, it is the pull factor that is getting them to leave – things at the moment are better on the other side. A guy with two kids ready to go to college is not going to wait around for the better society. Just like the folks in here, mostly living abroad, are not going to pack up and head back to Fiji to fight for a cause.

    Your last point was, “You wrote “If only they had let FLP serve out its term when they were elected…” Yep, you’re right. But what has that got to do with what we should do NOW? Is this really just about revenge for you, Bud?”

    No, this is not about revenge. That statement was more to do with the fact that we go not have comparables – if FLP had governed for a term, we could have compared their numbers with the SDL numbers – and I have reason to believe that the FLP numbers would have been much better than the SDL numbers – for than matter almost any other government’s numbers would have been better than these guys.

    What should we do NOW. 1) learn from the mistakes of the past – accept that all citizens of Fiji should have equal rights – that is the right to become the Prime Minister, the President or whoever. Change that mindset, that any Indian PM is not acceptable, if Chaudary gets elected, give him a chance. If you do not like him, vote him out. BTW – get rid of those SDL losers, but if you don’t and you decide to elect them, I do not have a problem, as long as the elections are free and fair.

    The Fijians have been biggest losers for the last 35 years – and if they vote in the SDL so be it.

    Oh, and BTW ….. yes, I do get paid by the word – Rajend does the word count every day.

  31. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Mornin’ Bud

    You wrote “you usually borrow money for capital expenditure, not to pay your day to day bills”.

    Well, by law, you MUST pay your day-to-day bills. You don’t have a choice. But when to try to arrange to reduce those, and you get torpedoed by someone who later becomes iFM and tries to do the EXACT same thing that he torpedoed you from doing, what is that?

    So if most revenues are already sucked up by OpEx, and are set in “stone” by law and precedent, your only choice is to borrow for that extra for CapEx. No choice!

    You wrote “this time around we do not have a ‘civilian’ government and no date for an election has been announced”.

    Well, why is that? And whose fault is it? What is it that we will get from this hold-out, that we can’t get from a speedy implementation of basic reforms, followed by a speedy return to Parliamentary Democracy? (answer follow in next response)

    You wrote “All the IG is trying to to put in place a system that would guarantee that we have a more responsible and accountable government”.

    Very easy to do, Bud – no mystery there. 95% of it already pre-agreed before the PDDF that Frank just torpedoed. Why has it taken over two-and-a-half years to do nothing? And why is the President now setting aside another five years to do that nothing in?

    It is because the stated reason, which only the gullible would have bought into, is not the REAL reason. The real reason is as stated by Fraenkel – that Frank is avoiding elections because he knows he (or the forthcoming RFMF party) cannot win.

    He is not interested in being a token “nigger” in your FLP – he already saw what happened to Bune, and he certainly doesn’t want to be beholden to someone as slippery as MPC for anything. Frank wants Fijian votes, not Indian ones. He and the Mara/Ganilau’s want the “good ol’ days” of the Alliance back again, where they could rely on the bulk of Fijian votes the way the SDL does today.

    Frank thinks he can have a shot at this if he can turn the economy around by election time, and he now figures that will take another 5-year economic cycle. Except of course for the fact that we have already seen his economic “magic”, so another 5 years of that will probably only make things worse.

    You wrote “that is why we do not have the $350 m EU money…” You forgot to mention the $200 million economic contraction from Mahen’s royal stuff-up of the 2007 budget and economy. That is over half-a-billion total right there. And what have we got for it? Some unaccountable, black-box, “we-know-best” difficulties over the nuances of an electoral reform package that is already over 90% agreed anyway!

    So you are telling me that that last 5% or 10% of that is worth MORE than half-a-billion dollars to Fiji? And since you’re so fond of quoting the good Professor, let’s not forget that Fiji’s lost growth is an ONGOING proposition – one which will cost Fiji more than $6 BILLION over the next 10 years. You logic is becoming more and more strained by the posting, Bud.

    You wrote “First, Narsey’s figures of 29% below poverty line was for 1991”. You believe that so many factors in the interim would have made that situation much worse. Well, all you need to do is reference Narsey’s most recent post-2000 poverty study, and you’ll see. Worse, sure – but not as bad as you claim. My figures came from the Min. Social Welfare’s own research. Not as reliable as Wadan’s I’ll grant, but still in the right ballpark. And so that was the 50% poverty figure quoted by Caucau – not all below the poverty line as you infer, but distributed according to the breakdown I quoted.

    And of course most if not all of those previously On or Just Above the poverty line at that time would have been sent straight under by Frank & Mahen’s post-2006 economic train-wreck. It is impossible for me to imagine that those poor people, who are paying the greatest price for this coup that none of them asked for, could still be grateful for the unaccountable delay in returning Fiji to normality. So far those delays have not brought them or anyone else anything but broken promises and more lousy decision-making. Sooner or later, Bud, you need to wake up to the difference between where you THINK Fiji is headed, and where we are ACTUALLY heading.

    You wrote “What should we do NOW. 1) learn from the mistakes of the past – accept that all citizens of Fiji should have equal rights – that is the right to become the Prime Minister, the President or whoever. Change that mindset, that any Indian PM is not acceptable, if Chaudary gets elected, give him a chance. If you do not like him, vote him out. BTW – get rid of those SDL losers, but if you don’t and you decide to elect them, I do not have a problem, as long as the elections are free and fair.”

    Hallelujah – for once you and I agree on something!

    But how to do it. You method of coup-support is WAY, WAY to control-freak and thought-police. Therefore it can’t work by definition, and will only impart bitterness and resentment in the end.

    For mine, people learn by history and the rule of law. If you keep putting coup-plotters in jail – the people will get the message. And those who don’t? What of it – just put them in jail whether they learn or not.

    But not only is your solution impractical, it is also way more expensive and damaging. Speight’s coup cost Fiji one year of negative growth at -1.7% before the military put it down. That equates to around $50 million lost GDP at that time. Now compare that with the 2006 coup which scuttled over HALF-A-BILLION in it’s first year AND STILL COUNTING!!

    Then there is the issue of yet another unapparent mystery – ie. where is the mystery in putting down coups. The military already proved it can put down coups in 2000. And so far, it has been able to easily keep down public dissent and disturbance to protect the IG. So why all this obsession with a Charter if the military can flat-out stop people carrying out coups MUCH more easily and cheaply?

    Meanwhile, the putative 2006 coup-to-end-all-coups has now just brought ANOTHER coup with the abrogation of the Constitution. Thus the leaky 2006-coup logic plunges to new depths of silliness and hypocrisy. And God knows what extra price the poor suffering people of Fiji will have to pay now for Frank’s continuing obsession with his ruinous and preposterous Charter?

    Is that ALL we bleeding a half-a-billion dollars PLUS per year to achieve???

    And what is all this thought-police insistence that everyone must love Mahen, or love each other, if he comes to power? All people need to do is be able to live their lives and be afforded the rights everyone expects.

    Meanwhile, the love thing will only happen if we first treat each other well, and with respect – something which is DEFINITELY not happening today. And which DEFINITELY has its own karma attached, whether you like it or not!

  32. Budhau Says:

    Jane, there you go again…
    You wrote, “Well, by law, you MUST pay your day-to-day bills. You don’t have a choice. But when to try to arrange to reduce those, and you get torpedoed by someone who later becomes iFM and tries to do the EXACT same thing that he torpedoed you from doing, what is that?”

    There is very little substance in the above statement. What I said was very simple, you have to learn to live within your means. Sure, as an individual if I was buying a house or a car etc, I will borrow money. I will still identify a revenue stream from which I would pay back that loan. As a government, if the SDL were to build a highway, a new hospital, a dam, or a water/sewer project – it is perfectly fine to borrow money. But you don’t borrow money to pay for your vacation, or you utility bills.

    You wrote, “So if most revenues are already sucked up by OpEx, and are set in “stone” by law and precedent, your only choice is to borrow for that extra for CapEx. No choice!”
    So let me get this straight – the % of the budget dedicated for operating expenditure keeps going up – and it was due to this “Chaudary conspiracy” – so what exactly was the SDL plan – to keep on borrowing. They could not have gone on forever, or bury their heads in the sand. What you are suggesting is that since all this operating expense was set in “stone” SDL had no choice but to keep borrowing and there was no new revenue stream in sight – besides increasing the VAT from 10% to 12.5% to 15% – squeezing the poor.
    You see, you have actually supported my argument that the SDL was taking us towards bankruptcy. All you have done is to suggest that it was Chaudary who was responsible and not SDL.

    In response to my remark that “this time around we do not have a ‘civilian’ government and no date for an election has been announced”. You asked “Well, why is that?”

    So you do accept the fact that this time the situation is different from the last coup – right? Thus the task of a finance minister is much more difficult this time around – right?
    As to whose fault is it? In 2000, the coupsters had achieved their goal of removing Chaudary – thus, appointing a civilian interim government was not a problem to them. This time around, the coupsters have different goals, and their goals would not be met by rushing into an early election. There is a process to get those proposed reforms implemented – remember the 1987 coup, 1990 constitution and the 1997 amendment to that constitution etc. The abrogation of the constitution yesterdays explains to a certain extent what the IG was faced with. It was difficult for them to implement those proposed changes. Now, I am sure things would be a little bit easier – and in today’s news I see that Chaudary, while supporting those changes, has also called to an earlier election.

    BTW – you seem to think that I support the IG – all I am trying to do is to question your ability to reason – to recognize that the situation this time around is different from what it was back in 2000.
    My comment “All the IG is trying to put in place a system that would guarantee that we have a more responsible and accountable government”.
    Your response, “Very easy to do, Bud – no mystery there. 95% of it already pre-agreed before the PDDF that Frank just torpedoed. Why has it taken over two-and-a-half years to do nothing? And why is the President now setting aside another five years to do that nothing in?”

    I disagree, I think that Qarase crowd insisted that the next election be done under the old electoral system and any changes be done within the constitution. The constitution would have required the SDL support and that is what the IG was not getting.

    Without taking sides on this issue – one thing is for sure – that those changes were not as easy as you suggest.
    You wrote about FB, “He is not interested in being a token “nigger” in your FLP – he already saw what happened to Bune, and he certainly doesn’t want to be beholden to someone as slippery as MPC for anything.”
    You have the right to have your opinion – the fact still remains that anyone who becomes the next PM of Fiji, will have to have Chaudary’s support.
    If Mara/Ganilau/Nailatikau, Bainimarama want to get into power, they will have to form a coalition with Chaudary. Talking about who is whose “nigger” or who is whose “Indian” – that is just a load of crap. This is about the man holding the balance of power.
    As for the “good old Alliance days” – that is what the other Fijian chiefly family wants. The Mara’s have had their turn at the trough, now it is the other folks turn.
    Chaudary will have a commanding lead with the Indian votes and the coalition that he forms with the Fijian party or parties, – they do not need to get the “bulk of the Fijian votes” like the alliance did. FB, Mara, Ganilau and the rest – they ain’t stupid and they know what the reality is.

    When talking about the $350m, or $200m – or whatever – why don’t you get this – the folks out there are ready to pay the price, just like the Fijians in 1987 were willing to go back to the days of fishing and coconuts if need be to get rid of the FLP – $200 m, a billion or $6 billion, whatever – why don’t you get this – it don’t matter.

    You argued with that “You wrote “First, Narsey’s figures of 29% below poverty line was for 1991″. You believe that so many factors in the interim would have made that situation much worse. Well, all you need to do is reference Narsey’s most recent post-2000 poverty study, and you’ll see.”

    When I mentioned the above, it did refer to the 1991 study – that you were quoting. The 29% figure that Narsey mentioned – that was mentioned in a 2007 piece. So unlike you – I wasn’t pushing some incorrect 1991 figures, you were.
    You wrote, “Worse, sure – but not as bad as you claim.” Go ahead give me the figures. If you take your own fircken figures – 25% or 29% of people below poverty line and another 10% or 15% or whatever at poverty line – what do we get – don’t we get about 40% or more at or below poverty.
    Give me that Min. Social Welfare research that tells us that 25% of the Fiji folks are below poverty line – that would be the same as the 1991 figure – that is a load of hogwash.
    I gave Caucau’s figures, the 1991 study, Waden Narsey’s numbers, the Fiji census figures, the Unions submissions to COLA.

    Finally you said “…not all below the poverty line as you infer”
    Here, forget about what I infer – unlike you I will state things clearly – the 1991 study put the figure of 25% BELOW poverty line, Narsey said the correct figure should have been 29% (that Narsey statement was made in 2007 regarding the 1991 numbers). NOW if you were to take those numbers of BELOW poverty line and add to those people who are AT poverty line – the totals are around 40 to 50% – what part of this do you want to argue about. I went further to show you that things have gone worse since 1991, thus those number could be even worse than what is stated above.
    BTW – no one is arguing that those numbers would have gone up since the coup – the point is that, these numbers under SDL are not acceptable – and hopefully the next government would work on improving the quality of life of this lot.

    You wrote, “But how to do it. You method of coup-support is WAY, WAY to control-freak and thought-police. Therefore it can’t work by definition, and will only impart bitterness and resentment in the end.”

    I have never said that I support this coup. As they say “shit happened”, now the way out of this is either by your way – ie put back Qarase in-charge either be reinstalling or letting him win the next election under the old system –while I think that we should have a new electoral system, in place that guarantees equal rights for all.

    You wrote, “If you keep putting coup-plotters in jail – the people will get the message.”
    Oh yeah, so how many days did those Ratu’s spend in jail who were implicated in the last coup and those who were in jail, well, Qarase was running around trying to get them released.
    Putting them in jail ain’t gonna help – because next time someone else will pull coup because he believes that the Fijians have a god given right to govern – and if he fails in he coup, his line would be “ I did it and I will swing for it”, sort like no other way.

    You seem to keep coming around with how expensive this coup has been – why don’t you get it that these guys don’t give a shit how expensive this get.
    You wrote, “Then there is the issue of yet another unapparent mystery – ie. where is the mystery in putting down coups. The military already proved it can put down coups in 2000. And so far, it has been able to easily keep down public dissent and disturbance to protect the IG. So why all this obsession with a Charter if the military can flat-out stop people carrying out coups MUCH more easily and cheaply?”

    Yes, honey, the military can put down a coup anytime – unless it is the military that is pulling the coup. So the problem here is that it will be the military that would be pulling the next coup, a coup to protect the “indigenous interests” – supported by the loser indigenous politicians.

    You wrote, “Meanwhile, the putative 2006 coup-to-end-all-coups has now just brought ANOTHER coup with the abrogation of the Constitution. Thus the leaky 2006-coup logic plunges to new depths of silliness and hypocrisy.”

    That’s you arguing for the sake of arguing – this is a continuation of the 2006 coup – whether they should have abrogated the constitution on Dec 6, 2006 or do it now. I might have made more sense if they had just abrogated the constitution back then – as Leung just said.

    You wrote, “And God knows what extra price the poor suffering people of Fiji will have to pay now for Frank’s continuing obsession with his ruinous and preposterous Charter?”

    Do you really think anyone in Fiji gives a crap about the poor – go back and look at our history of the last 35 years.
    You wrote, “And what is all this thought-police insistence that everyone must love Mahen, or love each other, if he comes to power?”

    No, you don’t have to love Mahen, all I said was that if he wins an election, he has the right to serve out his term and you should allow him to do so. You may still exercise all you rights that you have in a democracy. You can either have it that way, or you can play hardball – and he has just shown you that so can he. The choice is yours – either accept him as the PM if he wins, otherwise his only other choice is to become the King. BTW..he is already the kingmaker.
    You wrote, “All people need to do is be able to live their lives and be afforded the rights everyone expects.”
    ..yes, yes, and that right includes that if you get elected the PM, you are allowed to serve out your term.
    No one asking anyone to love anyone – people have rights that should be respected, and if you don’t respect other people’s rights, then your rights are also in jeopardy .
    BTW Jane – I see the change in writing style – and you said that there were more than one of me writing in here.

  33. Jean d'Ark Says:

    You wrote “What I said was very simple, you have to learn to live within your means.”

    But if OpEx is taking up all your means, and the Courts and the Unions/Chaudhry won’t let you reduce OpEx, then the only choice is to borrow for CapEx.

    No CapEx, no growth. No growth, no jobs. No jobs, no poverty reduction! And no future – just like what is happening today in Fiji under IG!

    You wrote “besides increasing the VAT from 10% to 12.5% to 15%”. This happened because of NATIONAL consumption expenditure – not Government consumption expenditure! Perhaps you need to leave these parts of your postings to one of the other FLP hacks who understands macro-economics.

    If national consumption was not reduced (and by law Govt. OpEx could NOT be reduced without Union agreement – which Mahen refused) then either ForEx would reduce; or inflation would increase (which already happened under Mahen, and was much worse than any VAT increase); or the FJD would have to be devalued.

    So sod’s choice there, Bud! But better than doing nothing and pinching pennies like our corner-store shop-keeper.

    You wrote “Thus the task of a finance minister is much more difficult this time around – right?”

    Nope! Nothing could be simpler! Just embark on a fiscal stimulation package (debt-funded if need be – like every other nation in the global crisis), and go to elections ASAP – and get all the foreign aid money to revive Sugar.

    You wrote “I think that Qarase crowd insisted that the next election be done under the old electoral system and any changes be done within the constitution.”

    Not true – just ask Yabaki! Why do you think CCF was on Qarase’s side in CoA case? He now knows what’s really going on here now! And anyway, whether the new system is implemented before or after elections, it will still be Fiji’s future regardless of what happens at the next elections.

    You wrote “the folks out there are ready to pay the price…”

    Not borne out by migration figures, or the testimonies of those emigrating (Sanjay Ramesh of Sydney Fiji Times, interview on Radio Australia). Again, you are just asserting things, but my comments are based on some independent corroboration.

    You wrote “the point is that, these numbers under SDL are not acceptable…” Well, who made them more unacceptable? Are you telling me that poverty is unacceptable under Qarase because he is Fijian, but worse poverty is bearable under Mahen because he is Indian? Really Bud, just listen to yourself?

    You wrote “You seem to keep coming around with how expensive this coup has been…”

    How do we implement ANY of the social or economic or poverty relief programs of the Charter or any other pie-in-the-sky program the Regime and supporters might come up with? Paisa Bud, paisa! And how can we spend paisa on anything when we’re peeing it away on coups and ideological obsessions?

    You wrote “why don’t you get it that these guys don’t give a shit how expensive this gets…”

    Yet these are the people who want to portray themselves as the models of good governance leadership, and who only want to do what is best for the people? How is this “best” for them? How will we ever get to a “better Fiji” if we keep heading in the opposite direction? And are you including Mahen in this lot? Because he has included himself by allowing himself to be named in the IG Cabinet!

    You wrote “So the problem here is that it will be the military that would be pulling the next coup…”

    Already done yesterday, Bud. and had nothing to do with indigenous rights! We have already seen if they have it in their minds to pull a coup, no law, or court, or electoral system, or lack of excuse is going to stop them. But they are only encouraged in it by undiscerning political opportunism that allows them (to quote the good Professor, again) to continue implementing a cure that is much worse than the disease.

    You wrote “now the way out of this is either by your way – ie put back Qarase in-charge…”

    Two choices Bud! Bad, or Worse – that’s it. Pick one! Frank and Mahen have unequivocally proven they are worse than Qarase – couldn’t put the nation back on track to normality or growth after a coup. Now in the third year and still heading south. (And after they were ALREADY shown how to do this by 2001 IG)

    You wrote “Do you really think anyone in Fiji gives a crap about the poor”?

    Clearly you can now include Frank and Mahen in that category. Population under the poverty line now more than 50% (AusAid study) due to of IG trashing of economy. And don’t feign ignorance on this because FLP insiders already know about this figure – just ask your bosses.

    You wrote “people have rights that should be respected, and if you don’t respect other people’s rights, then your rights are also in jeopardy.”

    Right back at ya, Bud! Rights of coup-opponents, poor and most people in Fiji not being respected RIGHT NOW. You don’t suddenly change that at some unspecified future juncture at the drop of a hat! You either respect them now – or you don’t. And as I before Bud, there’s INESCAPABLE karma in either choice!

  34. Budhau Says:

    You wrote, “But if OpEx is taking up all your means, and the Courts and the Unions/Chaudhry won’t let you reduce OpEx, then the only choice is to borrow for CapEx.”
    OK Jean, so you keep on borrowing – for how long, you double your debt in a short time to 53% of GDP, and then what 100% and keep going. Is that what the SDL was doing and if so, then won’t it be reasonable to suggest the we are heading towards bankruptcy – that is the a real silly ass line of reasoning. Maybe that when they were trying to bring in Chaudary as the Minister for Finance, to figure things out. And if they had not destroyed all those other industries that we have all ready discussed, maybe we would have had a revenue stream to pay our bills.
    You wrote, “No CapEx, no growth. No growth, no jobs. No jobs, no poverty reduction! And no future – just like what is happening today in Fiji under IG!”
    You are correct – however, the only difference is that the IG is a temporary thing, to fix our problem permanently. You have just agreed that we had a problem during the SDL days and they did not have a solution for it.
    You argued, “You wrote “besides increasing the VAT from 10% to 12.5% to 15%”. This happened because of NATIONAL consumption expenditure – not Government consumption expenditure!”
    Two things here, ,the higher the VAT, the more the revenue for government and secondly that can $1.00 can of fish goes from $1.00 to $1.15 – it don’t need no economist to figure that one out. And while that increase don’t bother me none, because I am wealthy, but the poor – Qarase was trying to balance his budget on the backs of the poor. Now explain to me how the “NATIONAL consumption expenditure – not Government consumption expenditure!” factors into this argument.
    The point I was making was that the SDL on one hand was creating more and more poor people and on the they were hitting these poor folks, including the Fijians, hard. The increase in VAT and the re-imposition of VAT on basic food items as well as the increase on a wide range many other food and everyday consumer items contributed to the problems of the poor.
    You wrote, “If national consumption was not reduced (and by law Govt. OpEx could NOT be reduced without Union agreement – which Mahen refused) then either ForEx would reduce; or inflation would increase (which already happened under Mahen, and was much worse than any VAT increase); or the FJD would have to be devalued.”
    Well, how about trying to stimulate economic growth, we did discussed all the failing indistries under the SDL, didn’t we. How about SDL’s inability to control government spending. FLP’s position has been that there should be reforms with the collaboration of the public sector unions. Chaudary has insisted on many occasions about the urgency of such reforms. It is the SDL inability to work on such reforms. Those family and friends, the senior official, their compensations should have been brought under control also. .
    You wrote, “So sod’s choice there, Bud! But better than doing nothing and pinching pennies like our corner-store shop-keeper.”
    That penny-pinching store owner, he knows one thing – that is OK to borrow money if you had to buy a “walk-in” cooler, it is not OK to borrow money to pay your rent, meet payroll, or the utility bill. Maybe we should teach our shopkeepers some economic also, so they can also borrow from the Fijian banks (and don’t pay back).

    Responding, to my statement, “Thus the task of a finance minister is much more difficult this time around – right?” Considering that we have had sanctions, a downturn in tourism etc.
    You responded, “Nope! Nothing could be simpler! Just embark on a fiscal stimulation package (debt-funded if need be – like every other nation in the global crisis).”
    Don’t you think that the advisors to this IG haven’t figured that out and that they have probably exhausted all the sources for that debt that you talk about.
    And as far as as, going to an election ASAP – well that ain’t happening. Thus, under those circumstances, the task of any Finance Minister would be very difficult.
    You wrote “I think that Qarase crowd insisted that the next election be done under the old electoral system and any changes be done within the constitution.”
    Your response to my remark that “the folks out there are ready to pay the price…”
    Your wrote, “Not borne out by migration figures, or the testimonies of those emigrating (Sanjay Ramesh of Sydney Fiji Times, interview on Radio Australia).”
    I have already said, that individual who can get out of Fiji, they are leaving, not because they are being pushed out as they were since 1987, they are leaving because those foreign countries look attractive. If someone has children ready to go college, they will not wait around for the situation to improve in Fiji. Having said that, now look at the farmers in Fiji, they are still supporting Chaudary and will continue to do so, even if there is a delay in the $350m.
    You wrote, “Again, you are just asserting things, but my comments are based on some independent corroboration.”
    Oh yeah, so when I brought up the 1991 poverty numbers, that your figures were wrong, what Narsey’s study said, what the census said and all that – what did you come up – that you had some Ministry source in the SDL. So what exactly did Dr Ramesh say on the immigration figures, and how is that different from what I am saying.

    To my remark, “the point is that, these numbers under SDL are not acceptable…”
    You responded, “Well, who made them more unacceptable?” Are you telling me that poverty is unacceptable under Qarase because he is Fijian, but worse poverty is bearable under Mahen because he is Indian? Really Bud, just listen to yourself?”
    No I am not saying that, what I said was that a 1% growth, while it is positive growth, is not enough to create the new jobs required for our graduates and school leavers. So, while you agued that at least the growth was positive, I pointed out that that is not enough. BTW – that kind of growth under normal conditions under any PM, Indian or Fijian is unacceptable. Now if you want to bring this race thingie in here and call Qarase a dumbass Fijian, or trying to imply that I am a racist – that usually happen when people start losing an argument – and those personal attacks, this is not the first time.
    BTW – yes I do believe that Chaudary is a more capable, more intelligent person that Qarase is – but race has nothing to do with that.
    Poverty is not bearable under Qarase or Chaudary – but Chaudary does have a history of working with them poor folks most of his adult life.
    Do I think that that this coup will bring about a contraction in the economy and thus hardship on the poor – sure, but that is a short term hardship, with the expectation that live will get better. That is not different than when Chaudary had the farmer do a boycott to get better contract – temporary hardship leading to a better life. Whereas with Qarase and the Ratus – we have had the poor Fijians (and Indians) numbers increasing for the last 35 years.
    To may remark “You seem to keep coming around with how expensive this coup has been…”
    And yes, you have been going in circle with this one – I told you that there is a price to be paid and folks who support the proposed changes are willing to pay that price.
    You responded, “How do we implement ANY of the social or economic or poverty relief programs of the Charter or any other pie-in-the-sky program the Regime and supporters might come up with? Paisa Bud, paisa! And how can we spend paisa on anything when we’re peeing it away on coups and ideological obsessions?”
    Again, I have explained this to you before, the tight paisa situation is temporary, as opposed to Qarase permanent paisa problem (go read the first paragraph). So those pie-in-the-sky programs they will be put in places. If it was Qarase we will have the same excuse the civil servants are over paid, so no paisa for the rural health for Fijians.
    To my remark, “why don’t you get it that these guys don’t give a shit how expensive this gets…” yes, usually when folks support such changes, causes that they believe it – they usually are willing to pay the price. Those who supported Rabuka believed in their god given right to rule – do you think they cared about what Rabuka’s coup cost.
    You wrote, “Yet these are the people who want to portray themselves as the models of good governance leadership, and who only want to do what is best for the people? How is this “best” for them? How will we ever get to a “better Fiji” if we keep heading in the opposite direction? And are you including Mahen in this lot? Because he has included himself by allowing himself to be named in the IG Cabinet!”
    You see, the problem and the cost associated with this is temporary – we do not expect this IG to solve specific problems. Just like if you were going to college, and there was financial hardship – there is light at the end of the tunnel (and none of those train jokes), the same here, I think Mahen also knows that the choice between having Qarase for ever or working with this regime towards having better Fiji – the choice is a no-brainer.
    You had argued that why the need for the Charter to prevent a coup when the Military can deal with coups and law and order situation – to that I responded – “So the problem here is that it will be the military that would be pulling the next coup…”
    So the charter is to prevent future coups, where the predominantly Fijian military can be used by loser indigenous politicians to pull a coup for indigenous right. (key word FUTURE)
    You wrote, “We have already seen if they have it in their minds to pull a coup, no law, or court, or electoral system, or lack of excuse is going to stop them.”
    You are right, they will pull the coup – unless we change this mindset or we make sure that next anyone pulls a coup – we can kick his arse. You make multi-racial military, see how some pulls a pro-Fijian coup or pro-Indian coup.
    You wrote about coups, “…to continue implementing a cure that is much worse than the disease.”
    I totally agree with you. Where we disagree is that you think that the Fijians have learned their lessons and would not support another coup, whereas I believe that because of the Fijian belief that they have a God given right to govern this country, they will not accept a Indian PM and if an Indian wins, there will be Fijian politicians and public to support some Fijian military type to pull another coup.
    You wrote, “Frank and Mahen have unequivocally proven they are worse than Qarase – couldn’t put the nation back on track to normality or growth after a coup.”
    Wrong again, how many time do I have to tell you that Chaudary or anyone else for that matter, could only have done damage control as Finance minister after the coup. I think Qarase or any one of his boys would have done much worse. So the “unequivocally proven” part, I think we have a problem with that.
    You wrote, “Now in the third year and still heading south. (And after they were ALREADY shown how to do this by 2001 IG)”
    Wrong again, they are not doing the 2001 way – and no one said this was gong to be easy. Now, for example if Chaudary had won the last election, and one of you indigenous boys had pulled a coup – in that case we could have simply used the 2001 formula and we could have done OK – and this time we would have fired the Judges – so none of that Chandrika Prasad crap. You see why the same formula ain’t gonna work this time around.
    To may remark, “Do you really think anyone in Fiji gives a crap about the poor”? – and they don’t the Fijian poverty numbers they have been on the rise for a very long time, and SDL did not give a crap about the poor. That blueprint – that was about the rich Fijians.
    You wrote, “Clearly you can now include Frank and Mahen in that category. Population under the poverty line now more than 50% (AusAid study) due to of IG trashing of economy. And don’t feign ignorance on this because FLP insiders already know about this figure – just ask your bosses.”
    I already told you that the contraction in the economy due to coup will have a temporary negative impact on everyone, including the poor. The point here is that after we get the proposed changes to the electoral system done, and put a elected government in place, the situation of the poor will improve, whereas under Qarase there was no chance – (remember, all the money was going to the civil servants – and many of them were also below the poverty line).
    To my statement that “people have rights that should be respected, and if you don’t respect other people’s rights, then your rights are also in jeopardy.”
    You wrote, “Right back at ya, Bud! Rights of coup-opponents, poor and most people in Fiji not being respected RIGHT NOW. You don’t suddenly change that at some unspecified future juncture at the drop of a hat! You either respect them now – or you don’t. And as I before Bud, there’s INESCAPABLE karma in either choice!”
    Totally correct – you don’t change the rules as you go – so when Chaudary became the Minister of Finance in 1987, they should have just let him be – and if he such an idiot as you think he is, he would have disappeared from the political scene by now. When he became the PM in 2000, you should have just let if be – if he was such an idiot, I am sure he would have been voted out in the next election. And than there was the two stolen election – hey that is a lifetime for da man.
    The INESCAPABLE karma, yes it has come back to bite some folks right in the arse. So next time the dude wins an election, and he will, just sit back and accept the results of that election – sure you want to exercise your political rights in a democracy – that is fine, but that don’t mean you can pull a coup.

  35. NadroKid Says:

    Its Friday….Sundays a coming
    Its Friday ….my Lords hangin on the tree
    the Pharasees are having a party
    But they dont know…
    Sundays a comin

    Its Friday….the disciples are hiding in the upper room
    Herod and the high priest are having a party
    But they dont know….
    SUNDAYS a comin

    Its Friday…
    Bernies abrogated the constitution
    The IG they be havin a party
    But they dont know…
    SUNDAYS a coming

    Its Friday…
    Frank and his IG are being sworn in
    The people are in despair
    But they dont know…
    Sundays a coming

    Adapted from Old Negro preacher man!

    Please feel free to add verses

    DONT GIVE UP PEOPLE
    WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS
    LETS STAND AND FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!
    HAPPY EASTER!

  36. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Top of the mornin’ to ya, Bud!

    You wrote “you double your debt in a short time to 53% of GDP, and then what 100% and keep going…”.

    Evidence please! No indication that this was happening. Please stop grasping at straws!

    You wrote “the IG is a temporary thing, to fix our problem permanently…” More like an indefinite thing to bugger up our nation permanently!

    You wrote “How about SDL’s inability to control government spending…”

    Who was the main culprit for that other than FB his royal budget-busting self. Wouldn’t do as he was told then, and can’t do what’s good for the nation now.

    You wrote “… it is not OK to borrow money to pay your rent, meet payroll, or the utility bill.”

    This argument has already been discredited as false and misleading, so please try to move on to something more sensible next time.

    Or rather, let me ask you this – what is the macro-economic problem with borrowing?

    The problem is that if it is too excessive it can soak up too much of your revenues, thereby reducing your capacity for CapEx spending. So that’s the real problem – CapEx restrictions – something which can easily be fixed through a managed program of debt-funded fiscal expansion. The only proviso is that it must result in economic growth – which it did! 2.2% average per year for five years – the highest in Fiji’s history. I don’t know where you get this 1% figure from (which, humble as it is, is still MILES better than the dismal Frank and Mahen show).

    So that’s all she wrote, Bud. There isn’t, as you seem to think, some sort of kryptonite “leper-unclean” bad voodoo associated with debt-financing per se. And as we’ve already seen, nobody but NOBODY with any professional or academic credentials has made the bankruptcy argument that you keep bringing up here.

    You wrote “Thus, under those circumstances, the task of any Finance Minister would be very difficult…”

    Anyone with any honour or integrity would resign if they were given an impossible job to do. But there is nothing but arbitrary excuses holding Fiji back from elections. The buck for that stops with Cabinet – if they lie down for it, then they “own” it! Blaming the international community for it just won’t wash!

    You wrote “…what did you come up – that you had some Ministry source in the SDL”

    Still based on something, Bud! And my figures were still more accurate than yours!

    You wrote “…So what exactly did Dr Ramesh say on the immigration figures, and how is that different from what I am saying?”

    He said the testimony of most of the Indo-Fijian immigrants as to why they are leaving Fiji now is (effectively) that they “don’t want to get caught in the middle of (and blamed for) the post-2006-coup Fijian vs. Fijian bun-fight that they don’t see going anywhere but south in future.” You are saying people are prepared to pay the price – but this says people are not prepared to pay, and want to get out while the going is good. Those who can, are. And those who can’t wish they could. What kind of “better Fiji” is that?

    You wrote “Again, I have explained this to you before, the tight paisa situation is temporary…”

    Been going for two-and-a-half years already, Bud! And now we’re going to have another 50% cut in CapEx for the rest of 2009, and a caretaker Government for “five” more years. That is not temporary. And it’s not getting better! Moreover, what will this tightfistedness get us? Will we get some kind of award, or brownie points, for reducing our debt by another couple of percent? How will that help people who can’t even put three square meals on the table these days? All the more reason why people need to listen to real economists, and not paid political hacks!

    You wrote “…those who supported Rabuka believed in their god given right to rule – do you think they cared about what Rabuka’s coup cost?”

    There you go with the revenge again, Bud! And what is that supposed to mean to most of us who weren’t even here when 1987 happened?

    You wrote “You see, the problem and the cost associated with this is temporary…”

    $7 BILLION over ten years, Bud! Do you even realize the kind and size of poverty-alleviation or job-creation programs you could fund with that kind of money? Any “new order” that replaces the current one must be able to make that money back, and more, to be worth it. But where will this magical turnaround come from? So far, the IG has shown neither the inclination nor the decency, to wean themselves off the litany of charades, manipulation and arbitrariness that passes for governance these days in Fiji. The IG can’t change because it simply doesn’t have the character or caliber to manage things any differently. So no Bud, what you see is what you get here!

    You wrote “So the charter is to prevent future coups…”

    Bud, you can’t be serious! If these guys can abrogate their own Constitution at the drop of a hat, they’re hardly going to allow something as pitiful as the Charter to get in their way. This is where your obsession with the unproven future falls apart. Psychologists and profession sports coaches both know something that you don’t seem to be able to grasp – that current habits are a far more powerful determinant of human behaviour than future intentions. So again I say, “read ‘em and weep”, Bud! The jury’s already in on this one.

    You wrote “how many time do I have to tell you that Chaudary or anyone else for that matter, could only have done damage control as Finance minister after the coup?”

    Well here are the relevant facts as far as economic mitigation in the year AFTER the two coups: Kubuabola (2001) +1.9%; Chaudhry (2007) -6.6%! That is about as emphatic as you can get, Bud. If it were a boxing match, it would be called a first round knockout – with the loser also soiling his boxing shorts in the process!

    You wrote “Wrong again, they are not doing it the 2001 way…”

    Well, how obstinate can you be? That is like saying I want to win the Indy 500 by crashing my car on the first lap! Please pinch yourself and wake up quick – you’re delirious!

    You wrote “The point here is that after we get the proposed changes to the electoral system done, and put a elected government in place, the situation of the poor will improve…”

    How? What are they going to use for money? Ballot papers? And what are they going to eat? Frank’s broken promises? Change is unlikely Bud, because as I said before, what you see is what you get! What you see is what you get!

    You wrote “When he became the PM in 2000, you should have just let if be…”

    Barking up the wrong tree again, Bud! I was one of the MAIN coup-opponents in 2000. One of the strong supporters of the BLU campaign and other things I won’t mention in case the Gestapo are listening and trying to put two-and-two together (again). The thing is, I don’t let race or politics get in the way of deciding right from wrong. The coup was wrong and worth standing up against in 2000. And it is wrong and worth standing up against in 2006 (2009). If you can’t see that, then you are a situational ethicist who has nothing really worthwhile to contribute here or anywhere else.

  37. soro Says:

    hear hear Jd. Take a bow

  38. Budhau Says:

    Hey Jane – very little substance here, but still….

    To my statement that “you double your debt in a short time to 53% of GDP, and then what 100% and keep going…”.
    You asked for “Evidence please! No indication that this was happening. Please stop grasping at straws!”

    What evidence do you want – That our public debt increased to 53% or that it was done by the SDL in a very short time, there is ample evidence of that out there.

    My question in there was “where do you go from the 53% – does it just keep on going?”

    It was you who had earlier explained why we had this large public debt by saying that, “But if OpEx is taking up all your means, and the Courts and the Unions/Chaudhry won’t let you reduce OpEx, then the only choice is to borrow for CapEx.”

    So if the only choice was to keep on borrowing, without identifying any revenue stream to pay for those – then where do you go? What evidence do you need, that if things did not change, we were heading for bankruptcy.

    Now here is an example of how you pull stuff out of certain parts of your anatomy.

    You wrote, “then the only choice is to borrow for CapEx.”

    First, the SDL was financing a greater proportion of the operating expenditure, (not CapEx as you would like us to believe) – from 22% in 2001 to 55% in 2004. So cut out the crap that they were borrowing for CapEx.

    The borrowings increased by $139m in 2004 as compared to 2003 – however, expenditure on capital projects declined by $39 million during the same period.

    Your remark as to the above was “No indication that this was happening. Please stop grasping at straws!” I had shoved those same numbers in your face before despite that you still want to argue the same crap. I see a pattern in you behaviour, you do this on a regular basis.

    When I brought up the issue of VAT earlier on– how the SDL was first creating more poor folks and then trying to balance the budget on their backs, this is what you wrote, “this happened because of NATIONAL consumption expenditure – not Government consumption expenditure! Perhaps you need to leave these parts of your postings to one of the other FLP hacks who understands macro-economics.”

    Never mind the insults and my lack of understanding of economic – the subject was relevant when we were discussing SDL budget, borrowing, its policies towards poor, and government revenue.

    What the SDL did was it re-imposed VAT on staple food items and then increases that VAT from 10% to 12.5%, as an EASY SOURCE OF REVENUE. So cut out the crap about National consumption expenditure – the discussion of VAT was relevant.

    BTW – those SDL SOB’s removed VAT on a few of those food items in their 2006 budget – guess why – I am sure that had nothing to do with the 2006 elections, it was all economics, right?

    Now compare that with your NATIONAL consumption expenditure – in their 2006 budget the SDL reduced duty on tiles, chandliers and decorative glass from 15% to 3% – I am sure Mr. Patel, the hardware guy had nothing to do with this – this is all about those complicated Macro-economic stuff, right? – and folks like me do not understand.

    You go around name dropping and these economic terms like “NATIONAL consumption expenditure” and macro-economic.

    So lets put this VAT in simple terms, when there is no ambiguity, it is easier to shoot down an argument – you seem to know that very well, and thus all that beating around the bush.
    This VAT thingie (my technical term for the day), is a general consumption tax levied on goods and services – right?

    So SDL, with its mediocre economic performance, deteriorating government finances and stagnant investment levels, some of it due to the 2000 coup but mostly due to those “unemployable imbeciles” from the SDL – the IMF dudes recommend a increase in VAT as part of the remedy to Fiji’s problems, mostly created by the SDL.
    The SDL idiots, without trying to figure out things themselves, go ahead and increase the VAT 25% in its 2003 budget. Now, sure, the VAT somewhat improved government revenue and showed a small increase in real GDP, it failed to address investment levels. VAT actually leads to a decline in investments and overall is just bad for the national welfare.

    If these SDL folks would have figured out how to just collect the tax revenue that was outstanding and owed to the government, they could have probably got about three times as much money as what they got from VAT. But they had just purged the civil service of Indians and others, and had placed their relatives and friends in high places – how would we expect them to run a efficient tax collection system. BTW – the rot in the civil service, that is not all SDL’s fault, that started in 1987, SDL just picked up the ball and ran with it.

    You see how the SDL stick it to the poor, and generally phucked up the economy. OK, now you can go and explain is all away in economic 101 terms.

    When I brought up the thieving SDL regarding the Mahogany – you pretended that you had no idea if there was any thieving going on – when pointed out that Jale Baba may have been involved, you came up with the line that once SDL discovered Baba was involved in some shady deals, they got rid of him – So I have to show you that Baba was let go not because of his shady deals, but because of the internal power struggle and I gave you names. BTW, as soon as Qarase found out that his son, Qarase Jnr owned the trucking company that was hauling Jale Baba’s forestry products, old man Qarase had a talk with his son to get out that business – yeah right!

    So it is kinda easy to explain away things – Oh yeah, Baba was let go because the SDL figured out that he was involved in some shady deal – you do this all the time.

    Regarding the post coup budget, you wrote, “Who was the main culprit for that other than FB his royal budget-busting self. Wouldn’t do as he was told then, and can’t do what’s good for the nation now.”

    Lets see who is grasping at what!
    When Chaudary left as Finance Minister, after 18 months, our Foreign Reserves was at $910 million worth 3.5 months of imports. Also note that when Da Man left, oil prices were at a record high, and that put a lot of pressure our Foreign Reserves, there were all kinds of external economic pressures and he still left a surplus of $40 million in government coffers.

    As we had discussed earlier, national debt level was down to 49% of GDP from old boy Qarase’s high of 53% . Exports were up 33% compared to 2006 (of course we can’t give all the credit to Da Man.)

    Now compare that with six months after Da Man left – Foreign Reserves had come down to $750m or so, interest rates went up, the business sector is in deep recession (some of that has to do with the global downturn), exports are declining and tourism ain’t doing that good.

    You criticism of Chaudary – Could it be that you don’t have anything concrete to back up your claims – besides you prejudice, to jump on Chaudary’s ass.

    To Chaudary – I say, “you da man”

    When I wrote “… it is not OK to borrow money to pay your rent, meet payroll, or the utility bill.”
    You responded, “This argument has already been discredited as false and misleading, so please try to move on to something more sensible next time.”

    Discredited by whom? Should we just take your word for it and move on. I would have if we did not have this pattern of lying and fabricating stuff on your part.

    You seem to wrapped around this “macro-economic” shit. You asked, “Or rather, let me ask you this – what is the macro-economic problem with borrowing?”

    On Fiji’s economic growth your wrote, “The only proviso is that it must result in economic growth – which it did! 2.2% average per year for five years – the highest in Fiji’s history.”

    Highest economic growth, my arse!….OK, OK I will take your figures of 2.2% average. Now lets compare that with the average economic growth rate of our neighbours 2001-2005 average – Tonga – 2.6%, Cook Island – 3.7% Samoa – 4.3% (BTW – GDP in Samoa grew by 5.1% in 2005)…and you said we had a five year average of 2.2% by our superstar SDL folks.

    To my remark about post coup economy, “Thus, under those circumstances, the task of any Finance Minister would be very difficult…”

    You responded, “Anyone with any honour or integrity would resign if they were given an impossible job to do. But there is nothing but arbitrary excuses holding Fiji back from elections.”

    Chaudary taking on a difficult task …well that was sort of like what the big Kahuna had said back in 1987, “my house was on fire, I had to do something.” Chaudary had a responsibility to help – and he was the best man for the job.

    On Migration
    You wrote that Sanjay Ramesh said “the testimony of most of the Indo-Fijian immigrants as to why they are leaving Fiji now is (effectively) that they “don’t want to get caught in the middle of (and blamed for) the post-2006-coup Fijian vs. Fijian bun-fight that they don’t see going anywhere but south in future.”
    I totally agree with that, people are concerned that with the Fijian population at almost 60%, there is a very real fear of a backlash. Combine that with the fact that the instability in Fiji will not just go away and the fact that at this time the grass looks much greener on the other side, sure folks who can migrate will migrate.
    Having said that I still stand by what I said, that folks that live in Fiji, those farmers union folks, and others – they are willing to pay a price for the proposed changes that are expected. As for the Indians, the Indian presence is always going to be there – and many of them are willing to pay that price, to change Fiji for the better. That is why, the non payment of that $350m will not significantly impact chaudary’s rartings amongst the Indians.

    To may statement, “Again, I have explained this to you before, the tight paisa situation is temporary…”
    You responded, “Been going for two-and-a-half years already, Bud! And now we’re going to have another 50% cut in CapEx for the rest of 2009, and a caretaker Government for “five” more years. That is not temporary. And it’s not getting better! Moreover, what will this tightfistedness get us? Will we get some kind of award, or brownie points, for reducing our debt by another couple of percent? How will that help people who can’t even put three square meals on the table these days? All the more reason why people need to listen to real economists, and not paid political hacks!”

    You see Jane, the attitude in the IG is “whatever it takes” there is going to be hardship, but at the end of it all we will have a better system of government – these struggles, though temporary, do take time. That is better than being screwed for 35 years and with no end in sight.

    To my remark that “…those who supported Rabuka believed in their god given right to rule – do you think they cared about what Rabuka’s coup cost?”

    You responded, “There you go with the revenge again, Bud! And what is that supposed to mean to most of us who weren’t even here when 1987 happened?”

    You completely missed the point. What I said was that if you have a strong belief in the cause than cost does not matter. In the Rabuka coup, those who supported him strongly believed that the Fijians should rule Fiji, this land was given to us by god – now, with that type of a belief, do you think they really cared what the GDP would be?

    What has revenge gotta do with this – this is the kina shit that you bring up all that – that I am somehow here for the revenge.

    To my statement, “You see, the problem and the cost associated with this is temporary…”

    You wrote, “$7 BILLION over ten years, Bud! Do you even realize the kind and size of poverty-alleviation or job-creation programs you could fund with that kind of money?”

    Why are you only counting “over ten years”, may be we should start at 1987 and go for at least several generations – because this problem ain’t going away – unless we resolve this race based politics crap, and hopefully we will.

    To my remark, “So the charter is to prevent future coups…”

    You responded, “Bud, you can’t be serious! If these guys can abrogate their own Constitution at the drop of a hat, they’re hardly going to allow something as pitiful as the Charter to get in their way.”

    What we are talking about is that we get an electoral system that is not race based, the Ratus don’t have God given right to rule and gradually the mindset changes, that we accept the results of an election and allow for a peaceful transition when another party wins. A Fijian does not necessarily have to be the PM.

    The way we had things, any time someone like Chaudary won, there was a possibility of a coup, military or otherwise.
    With the change in the system – it is hoped that that will change.

    You wrote, “ This is where your obsession with the unproven future falls apart. Psychologists and profession sports coaches both know something that you don’t seem to be able to grasp – that current habits are a far more powerful determinant of human behaviour than future intentions. So again I say, “read ‘em and weep”, Bud! The jury’s already in on this one.”

    With the coups that we had so far, we know what would happen the next time – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – that does not happen. Hopefully, by doing it differently this time, things will change.

    You wrote, “Well here are the relevant facts as far as economic mitigation in the year AFTER the two coups: Kubuabola (2001) +1.9%; Chaudhry (2007) -6.6%! That is about as emphatic as you can get, Bud.”

    This is the kinda of crap you keep pushing in here. In 2001, the coup was over, we had a civilian interim government in place, a date for an election had already been decided, the sanction was removed, and foreign aid had started to flow in. Now compare that with this time around – this is an on-going thing, the contraction in our economy is expect.
    Sure, FB could also do exactly as 2000, march back to barracks and then to Naboro, hand over power to a civilian interim government, announce elections etc – but he has chosen not to go that wrote. Why he hasn’t gone the 2000 route is not the point – the point is that you can not do an apples-to apples comparison.

    So, why the phuck do you keep comparing 2001 to 2007 – and suggesting that this is a apples-to-apples comparison – you know that and so do I.

    You wrote, “If it were a boxing match, it would be called a first round knockout – with the loser also soiling his boxing shorts in the process!”

    No, no, …..we know the boxing match is between FB and those home brew crowd under the mango three – and we know whose boxing shorts are messed up

    To my remark about Chaudary, “When he became the PM in 2000, you should have just let if be…”

    You responded, “Barking up the wrong tree again, Bud! I was one of the MAIN coup-opponents in 2000.”

    OK, I take your word for it since it is difficult to verify – however, I am yet to find one in this forum who had supported the previous coups. While the GCC, and Fijians overwhelmingly have supported all previous coups – and those that didn’t, it was “support the cause, not the means.” -everyone now seems to deny ever supporting any coups – good.

    Now, this is not about supporting this coup or opposing it – shit has already happened now it’s about where we go from here. BTW, Da Man ain’t going away either and no amount of bitching is going to change that.

  39. Bin Ladin Says:

    Thanks again guys!…Bud 120 points, JD 60 points!.

  40. W.T Says:

    Budhau seems to be the perfect Bainimarama coup bumster. It seems this idiot’s one eyed vision is a product of being so fixated on Bainimarama and Chaudary’s rear ends rather than the nonsense that they are engaged in today.

    By this I mean Budhau is somehow trying to elevate the image of this illegal junta to that of the past elected governments. There is absolutely no comparison and the fools who do so are what Australian former Foreign Affairs minister, Downer rightfully calls, “stupid coup apologists”.

    The biggest problem these IG losers have is the lack of integrity. They might have had a good record in the past but the crimes they have committed to date against the people of Fiji have thrown their images into the sewers.

    Get used to it man, your posts are just nonsensical ramblings because you talk about the so called bad policies and illegal activities of others yet you try and legalize the illegal mess that your traitor heroes have got us into today. At least past elected governments are given the mandate to make and correct mistakes and they suffer the legal consequences if they do not.

    Governments in democratic systems around the world are prone to making bad policies whether it is economic, social or whatever. That is part and parcel of democratic governance or rule by the people, not omitting that a clean and fair government is the goal.
    In other words, we are under no illusion that we the people of Fiji also bear the responsibility for the successes and failures of our elected representatives. We put them there. If they do not fulfil their contractual election promises made at the ballot box then we have every right to criticize and at times replace them.

    These illegal idiots are heading in the opposite direction because the only way the can rule is by criminally taking away our Constitutional electoral rights and forcing their way into power. Then they have parrots like Budhau spreading their stench over the nation.

    Oh, just one more word of advice. When commenting on the economy and the connection with government policies it is always wise to have the prerequisite academic and industry qualifications in these matters. Clutching at economic figures and pointing to a single probable cause without considering other factors is like making fact out of equating gossip whispering in a cow’s ears at night to the improvement of milk quality and quantity.

  41. Budhau Says:

    WT talking about “being so fixated on Bainimarama and Chaudary’s rear ends..”

    Did you get some last night? these kinda thoughts – no good.

    What I am saying is that shit happened – fait accompli – comprende.

    Now we need to move on – so the question is where do we go from here, that is where I disagree with you buggers.
    I think Qarase and his thieving, incompetent, Kanaloto gang are finished – Khalaas.

    You mentioned single probable cause- referring to the SDL –
    Here is some food for thought:
    In six years they took the debt 1.2 billion and made it into 2.5 billion with nothing to show for.
    Fiji exports $996m in 2000, $834 in 2006.
    Sugar from $282 m to $215 m.
    Gold – $70 m to $43 m
    Vatukoula gold mine shut down
    VAT – from 10% to 12.5% to 15%.
    Money allocated to infrastructure – choro the funds – Ministers, public servants consultants government contractors and the rest.
    Kings Road, ten years and $40 million cost overrun.
    Standard of living sucks, half the population at or below poverty line, 100, 000 squatters, rural Fijians moving in as squatters, school leavers no jobs.
    Blueprint – you think the life of the Fijians got any better in six years – the Fijian elite, those aligned with SDL pocketed the money
    Prison population 77% Fijian
    The high crime rate.
    Vote rigging in elections
    30 million agriculture scam.

    So dude, this ain’t about probable cause – this is about clear and convincing evidence – which facts did I make up.

  42. ex Fiji tourist Says:

    WT

    You have summed up the illegal, immoral, illegitimate ignoramouses perfectly.

    This includes all of their apologists.

    Well done.

  43. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Not sure Rajen would want to pay you for any of that last lot, Bud.

    Unlike everyone else who has not already lost interest in this debate, you seem to becoming more uninformed as we go, not less! So please refrain from handing over to more junior ghost-writers, and go ahead and ask that economist to help you out on this thread.

    You wrote: “What evidence do you want…”

    Evidence that Fiji’s national debt would have reached anywhere near 100! (which isn’t even considered to be ‘bankrupt’ anyway). Government deficits had started to decrease, and were at only 4% by 2006. Do you know how long it would take to double Fiji’s debt at that rate?

    It would have taken over 15 years (4% deficit – 2% Tax growth = ~ 3%+ net debt increase). That is three whole elections for the people to decide how bad this “trend” was, and whether or not they wanted to short-circuit that possibility by electing someone else.

    But of course that is all hypothetical as budget deficits were trending downwards – once they dipped under the growth rate, then your national debt is heading back down again. And then you’d have NO cause for bankruptcy whatsoever – just what you’d expect from the silence of the macro-economic experts on the alleged bankruptcy claim.

    You wrote “So if the only choice was to keep on borrowing, without identifying any revenue stream to pay for those – then where do you go?”

    Bud – the revenue stream is taxes collected by FIRCA. As the economy grows (remember that 2.25% average over 5 years?) so your revenue stream grows. Then when it hits a decent enough level, you just throttle back on the borrowing and cruise through your pay-down period. Simple!

    What is so revolting to you about that? Is it all those grubby workers’ pensions that Government will be paying these funds back into? What a travesty? You must be beside yourself with indignation!

    You wrote “First, the SDL was financing a greater proportion of the operating expenditure…” ***

    Bud, what is so hard for you to understand about this? The mosquitoes buzzing around my room understand this by now! The fact that OpEx is greater than CapEx is not the issue here. It is greater for every known Government in the world, and always has been.

    If you go back through every budget of every Government Fiji has had, you will see that they ALL had enough revenues to pay for their OpEx commitments (eg. 2006: Revenues – $1.35 billion (est); OpEx commitments ~ $1.1 billion (original est., but busted to all hell by 2006 coup).

    So that is not the issue here. The issue is how to reduce OpEx, or increase tax revenues, so as to come in line with the more sustainable 70:30 OpEx to CapEx ratio.

    This was the very issue that eventually forced the former Aliiance Party to introduce (with the compliance of the NFP) their 1985 wage-freeze. That eventually led to a civil service backlash, and the birth of the very same FLP that is paying you to spew disinformation and bile on this forum.
    So this one is as old as the hills, Bud.

    Anyway I won’t rehash the well-documented reasons as to why Frank and Mahen were two of the main culprits for Fiji’s inability to reduce OpEx over recent years. But if the LAW prevents you from effecting cs reforms (permanent arbitrator ruling for COLA) and enforcing OpEx budgetary discipline on Commander (Singh J ruling against Bhaini’s budget surcharge), then the ONLY way to get to the 70:30 goal is to increase tax revenues.

    Increased tax revenues CAN ONLY come either through a straight tax rate increase (thus throttling the business goose that lays the golden egg of economic growth). Or else by increasing the overall tax base by growth-boosted GDP. That in turn can only come from SUFFICIENT CapEx, and if you don’t have enough (which Fiji has NEVER had enough to get past 80:20) THEN YOU MUST BORROW IT! And that’s CapEx, Bud – CapEx. Not OpEx! It was already covered, remember? The mosquitoes picked this up two nights ago and are starting to get bored now!

    You wrote “When I brought up the issue of VAT earlier on – how the SDL was first creating more poor folks…”

    Bud – this may come as a surprise to you, but Government budgetary expenditures are not the only expenditures made in a nation, in any given year. Just as significant is private sector consumption! This is where you must have got confused because private consumption borrowing (cars, stereos, TVs, hotel fit-outs) was VERY high in Fiji pre-coup. Maybe it was all that Courts-driven consumerism, and all those hotel investments. But anyway, people were confident and were spending on themselves and this was putting pressure on Fiji’s ForEx reserves. So Government either had to address that consumption directly, or the RBF would have addressed it with higher interest rates (kill investment and growth), or worst case, a devaluation (inflation AND higher interest rates).

    So if private sector consumption is relatively high (which it was in Fiji pre-coup) then the best way to counter-act that is with a CONSUMPTION tax like VAT.

    Otherwise, you’re stuck with that old familiar best-of-a-bad-bunch dilemma that you don’t seem to be very good at, Bud! VAT (Bad); Inflation (Worse), or; Devaluation (Worst). Mahen reversed the minor 2.5% VAT increase in 2007, but ended up with a 7% inflationary increase in its stead. And even though other factors contributed to that, which do you think the poor would have preferred? A 2.5% increase, or a 5% plus one?

    You wrote “those SDL SOB’s removed VAT on a few of those food items in their 2006 budget – guess why…”

    Electioneering Bud! This is the beauty of having a strong opposition – when they come up with a popular policy, the Government must respond or lose out. Who says democracy doesn’t work, or you can’t have any effect on policy from the opposition?

    You wrote “VAT actually leads to a decline in investments and overall is just bad for the national welfare.”

    Not really, Bud! VAT is no more or less investment friendly than any other tax. And since it targets consumption more than production, it is more suitable for reigning in over-heated consumption than other fiscal means.

    You wrote “If these SDL folks would have figured out how to just collect the tax revenue that was outstanding and owed to the government…”

    Good point! Not three times as much, but would have certainly helped! (although STILL wouldn’t have reined in private consumption)

    You wrote “Lets see who is grasping at what … (etc.)”

    Bud, the fact that Mahen outperformed Frank as iFM is nothing to crow about. Mr. MG from Get Set could do a better job than Frank – and blind drunk at that. The figures you quote as better than a poke in the eye, I suppose. But you’re just cherry-picking things that don’t really matter as much as investment, growth and jobs! Without those, nothing else really matters. The poor will just get poorer, and there’ll be more of them! End of story!

    You wrote “As we had discussed earlier, national debt level was down to 49% of GDP from old boy Qarase’s high of 53%”

    Hip, hip, hooray – I hereby present the FLP with the minor debt reduction of the week award. Feel better now? Now, did anyone get a job or a pay rise out of that? Did prices fall? Was there more investment? Were Government services improved, and were the poor and disabled taken better care of?

    Can you see where this is headed, Bud? You guys all fixate on that because it is the main area where the FLP outperformed the SDL. But what does it ACTUALLY mean? Don’t answer that because I’ll tell you!

    The main benefit of reducing Government/National debt (aside from the ethical responsibility) is that you reduce the pressure of FUTURE budget commitments on future tax revenues (it can also help business confidence IF other determinants of that are also favourable). That’s it, Bud – nothing more magical or astounding than that. So the only point for Mahen to reduce the budget deficit in the first place would be so that at some future stage, he could have a freer hand to start investing in more CapEx then.

    So take your pick: either borrow from those nasty FNPF loan-sharks now, and have to finance those dead-weight retirement funds for years, in order to help create more jobs and industry for those useless unemployed. Or else, pay-back now, and invest again in the future (thereby neatly avoiding those FNPF money-grubbers, and simultaneously teaching those bothersome poor and unemployed that patience is a virtue)

    You wrote: “Discredited by whom?” in regard to the now-tiresome OpEx/CapEx issue.

    Please refer back to the section marked *** if you STILL haven’t got this (keep in mind the poor, bored mosquitoes in my room that picked it up moons ago, and will probably commit suicide if I have to explain it again). Perhaps if you spent more time trying to keep up with this debate, and less time trying to trawl through the FLP database for ripostes, then maybe you WOULD have got it by now.

    You wrote “Highest economic growth, my arse!…”

    Why would I be referring to anything other than Fiji’s economic growth, Bud? And why would you want to bring up these figures that make Frank and Mahen’s pitiful performance look even more abysmal anyway? If I could vote for the Samoan PM on the basis of these figures, I probably would. If I could have my choice of anyone, I might go for Obama, or Mandela, or Chris Patten, or Jeffrey Sachs, or Rick Warren, or Richard Branson.

    But I don’t have my choice of anyone. And in Fiji, I only have three realistic choices: Frank, Mahen or Lai. And that’s as easy a choice for me as it is for you!

    You wrote “Chaudhry had a responsibility to help – and he was the best man for the job…”

    First of all, Mahen went into Cabinet with both eyes open. No use complaining about how difficult the task was afterwards. If he didn’t know he was throwing in his lot with a bunch of no-hopers, he should have known! Just suggests that you can add “poor judge of character” to all his other flaws.

    And second of all, in the business world you are hired on potential, and fired on results (or lack thereof)! Mahen may have gone in as the “best man for the job”. But he did not come out that way. And his record is there for all to see now. Figures don’t lie, Bud!

    You re-asserted “and many of them are willing to pay that price, to change Fiji for the better”

    Well – there you go again, Bud – just asserting things! The available evidence, such that it is, just does not support that position.

    In point of fact, I am starting to notice that we are just going around in circles with some of these arguments. Okay, so you didn’t understand the OpEx/CapEx thing. But these other points are really straightforward. So I tell you what, from now on if you just re-assert your opinion without raising any fresh “evidence” or counterpoint, I will just label it as “already settled”, and move on to anything new or worthwhile that you do happen to raise. How ‘ bout that?

    You wrote “the attitude in the IG is ‘whatever it takes’ there is going to be hardship, but at the end of it all we will have a better system of government”

    Lots of evidence for hardship! No evidence for any better system of government so far! All we have is words and hot air – nothing concrete. Remember, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, Bud! Moreover, you need to think about what the phrase “system of government” actually means. A system is an organized set of interrelated ideas, principles or laws. So what sort of system could you have when the leaders are not in the habit of following any law they don’t like? (eg. Ignoring Supreme Court ruling on Regimental Fund; busting budgets every year; executing coups; abrogating Constitution… etc.)

    You wrote that I “completely missed the point…” re the Rabuka coup.

    No I did not – you write as if all the people on the Freedom blogs were somehow in on the ’87 and 2000 coups. In doing so, you betrayed the anger and resentment that I suspect are one half of the two REAL motives behind your obsessive presence on this forum that really ought to be repellent to you. It also explains why you don’t seem to be able to see the forest for the trees on what are some really very straightforward moral issues, Bud!

    You wrote “because this problem ain’t going away – unless we resolve this race based politics crap”

    You are assuming the current putsch can actually solve our race problems. No sign of that happening at all though, Bud – either now, or in the future. The real reason we are all paying such a heavy price is the Regime is waiting until they think they can win an election, before calling those elections. That’s why they’ve pegged 2014 now – because they’re giving themselves as long as possible to ride the next 3-5 yr macro-economic cycle up to a hopeful apex at the time. But if things aren’t all rosy by then, YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR we won’t be having elections then either.

    You wrote “This is the kinda of crap you keep pushing in here…” in reference to the post-coup recovery data.

    Well you were the one who brought up the post-coup-year comparison ( as opposed to the coup-year comparison). You did it with your statement that Mahen “could only have done damage control as Finance minister after the coup?” So I merely obliged by listing the post-coup-year comparative growth figures (2001 vs 2007). However, my sincere apologies to anyone who may have had to clean MPC’s boxer shorts after that one.

  44. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Bud – re your response to WT!

    Again the mosquitoes in my room are way ahead of you – they now understand the difference between BAD and WORSE! The reason they “get it” now is because, unlike you, they don’t insist on arguing in circles and ignoring present realities.

    What is it with you and your obsession with ancient history? If you have access to a time-machine, please let us know and we will go back to 1987 with you to try and right that wrong (From all accounts, even Rambo himself would come along and help out, too. And Speight would come along and try to put down the 2000 putsch if you could dial that one in)

    But until you get us a time machine, the only problem we can fix now is the huge pile of doggie do-do that Frank and cronies have dumped on the nation TODAY.

    And as WT pointed out to you, you don’t do that by talking “about the so called bad policies and illegal activities of others yet you try and legalize the illegal mess that your traitor heroes have got us into today!”

    People can see through your cheap diversionary techniques, Bud. Time to try something different.

  45. W.T Says:

    Too right J.A, Bud just cannot fathom the truth because of his fixated brown eyed tunnel vision.

    He seems to have a flawed view on morality and credibility. This is summed up by his resignative version of “fait uncompli”. He would be the type of parent that berates their suffering child to “get on with life” after having been violently raped by a member of the family. Seeking justice and campaigning for more protection of the child from sick predators would be the last thing on Bud’s misguided mind.

    Well Bud, you may think it’s ok to roll over and take it up the bum every time a bully comes into town but luckily for society they have decent people like me who would stand up and fight.

    Get this, Voreqe and his unelected cartel are traitors therefore they have no credibility whatsoever. No one is going to place their trust in traitors after they have criminally broken their loyalty to the very people they swore on oath to protect, the people of Fiji?

    These criminals are a disgrace to the office of the President, the cabinet positions, the military institution, the Judiciary, the law enforcement agencies and any other public offices under illegal occupation. They are just not wanted – comprehende!!

  46. Budhau Says:

    So how far do we go back before it becomes “ancient history”.

    When some idiot come in here and suggests that we should have brought in the SDL Finance Minister to deal with our current economic crisis, and I respond to that by pointing out phucked up the SDL was and give you the numbers on their six years in power – that is ancient history.

    When the Idiots in here want to reinstall Qarase or re-elect him again, and I point out how the dude screwed up while he was in power – up to 2006, that is ancient history.

    When some comes in here and claims how good the SDL was, the greatest government ever – and I then respond to that, I am talking about ancient history.

    The thing now is that you will have this cycle of coups, unless you go and look at what went wrong and than try and correct that by learning from those mistakes…that ain’t ancient history.

    So all of you have suddenly become vocal human rights activists as of Dec. 5 2006 – and anything prior to that is ancient history.

    The issue here is that shit has happened – so what now, return to the
    Qarase-style ‘democracy’ no matter how flawed or we use this situation to make our country better – sort of an escape route for us from the imminent national disaster that Qarase was talking us towards.
    Since these are our choices and many see – why is wrong to discuss what Qarase has done. Some who don’t want to talk about this “ancient history’ are those who have an agenda and a honest discussion of what Qarase did does not suit that agenda.

    It was people like that SDL who have had a stranglehold on our country for a very long time – we have to talk about how these policies have benefited a select few while the rest of the country suffered.
    What we have now is an opportunity to make changes and make sure what had been happening in the past (ancient history) does not happen again in the future.

  47. soro Says:

    Bud grow up pahleeease !!!

  48. WT Says:

    Budhau cannot accept the fact that Qarase defeated Chaudary, not once but twice at the polls. This man must be doing something right for the people to elect him because he might just be an upstanding citizens with high morals and respect for the office of the PM.

    Can’t say much for the loyalty of Mahen back in 1999 when you look at the adulterous affair between him and mistress Asha Lachan.Poor Mrs Chaudary having to put up with a disloyal husband. Poor Fiji having to put up with a disloyal PM who was making a brothel out of the PM’s office.It seems that disloyalty is nothing new to Mahen and Budhau.

    It is time Indians look towards appointing decent young Indian candidates who will not have lipstick on their peckers when they go home to wife and kids.

  49. Budhau Says:

    Well Jean, let us see who brought up the comparison of the growth figure after the two coup 2001 vs 2007.

    In you most recent post you wrote, “Well you were the one who brought up the post-coup-year comparison (as opposed to the coup-year comparison). You did it with your statement that Mahen “could only have done damage control as Finance minister after the coup?” So I merely obliged by listing the post-coup-year comparative growth figures (2001 vs 2007). However, my sincere apologies to anyone who may have had to clean MPC’s boxer shorts after that one.”

    OK it I wasn’t a polite dude, this is about when I should be calling you a lying bitch – but I won’t, I will just rub it in by showing you pattern of behavior – misrepresentation and outright lying.

    First let us just try the simple reasoning thingie – since the post-coup 2001 economic numbers look much better than the post-coup 2007 numbers, why would I be bringing that up. You on the other hand have a motive – to show how had Chaudary did by showing how much better the 2001 numbers looked.

    My point was that you cannot compare the two, and to reinforce that argument, I kept explaining to why the two numbers are not a apples-to-apples comparison.

    This is how you started off, “The 2006 coup was over in less than a month with MINIMAL economic disruption. The Government had a reasonably stable platform to begin its recovery program. By contrast, the 2000 coup dragged on for months, and was still causing stability problems over 7 months later (mutiny). Yet the 2000 IG still managed to restrict the economic decline from that far worse crisis to only -1.8% of GDP. Compare that with the shock of the 2007 fall which plummeted by -6.6% despite facing a far milder initial coup disruption that it needed to recover from in the first place.”

    You again brought that that issue, “But the ONLY legitimate apples-to-apples comparison available (2001 “growth” vs. 2007 “growth”) suggests that my opinion is at least resting on some kind of objectivity.”

    Here you are again claiming that it is an apples-to-apples comparison – the 2001 growth vs 2007 growth. And you continued with that line of reasons until this last post where you claim that I was the one who brought this up.

    Well, two things, I did not have any reason to do the comparison, you did – because by comparing the two, we would be able to show how bad the 2007 numbers are.

    Now….let me ONCE AGAIN show you why the 2001 growth vs the 2007 Growth numbers are not an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Going into the 2000 coup the economic growth had been 8.8% some studies have that number even higher. Compare that with the 2006 coup, where Qarase had totally phucked up that economy or may be I should say that the SDL economic performance was modest when compared to the 1999 numbers or we can even blame it on Chaudary. Regardless, one thing is for sure that we were in a much better position economically going into the 2000 coup than the 2006 coup.

    The second thing is that in 2000, there was a quick handing over by the military to a civilian government and an early election was announced. The civilian government could than focus on the economy, the sanctions were not there and foreign flowed in.
    In 2006, the situation was completely different from 2000. The military government was in place, sanctions was imposed and because of the going situation the tourism numbers did not go as rapidly as it would have otherwise.

    We can all argue about why the government should have followed the 2000 route, but the fact still remains the 2006 regime did not do what the 2000 regime did. The goals of the 2000 coup was met when the Indian was removed from office and everyone went on with their lives. The goal of the 2006 regime was different and more time was required.

    Under those circumstances, the economic performance in 2001 cannot be compared to 2007.
    The Minister of Finance post 2000 was totally focused on an economic recovery – no sanction, foreign aid, stability which meant more tourists etc.
    The Minister of Finance post 2006 had a much harder task – continuously putting out fires, doing damage control .

    Based on the above I think it is silly for anyone to try to compare the two periods and based on those numbers try and criticize Chaudary because Chaudary’s numbers looked worse than the 2001 number. You attempted to do that, not I.

    If you look at the 2007 numbers, under the circumstances, I think that Chaudary did a fine job. Any Minister of Finance would have a real difficult time dealing with the situation that we were in.

    Now, do you see why I would not bring up this issue – I had no reason to so. Do you also see why you would bring this up – because you could make Chaudary look real bad when comparing him with your boy in 2001.

    OK – this time would give you the benefit of the doubt – that you are not a lying bitch, you might have just made a mistake thinking that I was the one who brought this up.

    Oh and BTW, the folks that are really getting their arse kicked in Fiji are the Ratus of the GCC the Kanaloto crowd, so if there is anyone who needs their boxers cleaned up, its them Ratus..and because they have been sitting on their arses for so long, and since many of you are in the habit of kissing those Ratu arses (the cultural thingie), it may be in you interest to clean them first.

    Now, how about that – wasn’t it you who had brought up the boxers and how Mahen had shit in them?

    I think it may be a better idea to stay away from these shitting in the boxers discussion – but if you wish to continue, I am fine.

  50. Bin Ladin Says:

    @ JD, You cannot disregard 87 & 2000 as ancient history compared to the current situation that we are in at the moment. What happend in 2006 is the fruit of the seed that was planted in 87 and watered down in 2000. It may be before your time but you need to look at the whole package when trying to solve or understand the current situation we are facing at the moment. Our president hails from Vuda (Tui Vuda), The deposed PM in 87 was Bavadra and he hails from Vuda as well. Nearly the whole of Fiji (Indigenous Fijian) were in support of the coup, only the people of Vuda and neighbouring villages opposed the events of 87. They raised their disgust publicly by putting up a serious of road block, only to be stopped and reprimanded by the soldiers.
    If you look at the whole package (87, 2000 & 2006) no wonder the Tui Vuda (President) is throwing his support behind Bai & his merryman because he thinks that Fiji as a nation need to start from a clean slate!. No more hangovers from 87 & 2000 or 2006 for that matter. My point is you cannot ignore the events of 87 & 2000 as ancient history in trying to solve or understand the situation that we are in at the moment.

    For that, I give Bud 160 points, JD 40 points.

  51. Budhau Says:

    It was my cousin from Sorokoba who was saying something like “those who refuse to learn from history may be condemned to repeat it”

    What it is brother Bin Laden, is that it is very convenient to to block out that pre-2006 memory of what happened, and focus only on things subsequent to Dec 5, 2006 and make it look like this crazy Budhau is caught in some time warp.

  52. Relax Man Says:

    Well at least one good thing came out of that abrogation, no more SDL nor Qarase, at least thats a major move in the right direction.

  53. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Bud,

    You wrote “When some idiot come in here and suggests that we should have brought in the SDL Finance Minister to deal with our current economic crisis, and I respond to that by pointing out phucked up the SDL was and give you the numbers on their six years in power…”

    That is not the point! You have a right to your views on that, and you will vote (if you were still a Fiji resident) the way you vote on it whenever we do have a new election.

    But you are on here preaching almost every day that people need to respect the verdict of the next elections come what may.

    But you are displaying the exact opposite attitude yourself TODAY.

    Your attitude to this coup (or rather, two coups now) is “the bastards had it coming because of this long list of grievances i have painstakingly assembled here – so lets just let this coup play itself out etc. etc…”

    Well what will you say if MPC is elected next time and is ousted somehow or other,legally or illegally, before his term – and then his opponents take exactly the same stance then as you are taking now?

    Will you say “Doh – of course this was my karma from the 2006/9 coups, and I should have seen it coming!”

    You mentioned Santayana in another comment – well we will only learn from history if we learn from the last time to do things differently next time.

    If we should have learned anything from past coups in Fiji, it should have been NEVER to give legitimacy or justification to anything anyone claims is a valid reason to go outside what we have ALREADY AGREED as the rules.

    As soon as you accept there can be valid reasons for this then ANYONE can make up his own for that and go ahead and “just do it”. Do you think he’ll have any qualms about arguing endlessly with you on some blog forum about why he should or shouldn’t do it?

    No – as soon as you open up that pandora’s box of unlawful justification, then its simply a free-for-all, and anyone (or any military leader) can just make up their own rules as they go along (which is basically what we are seeing today).

    You talk about fixing the problems of the past, and of course there is certainly a need to do that. But how?

    The reason Fiji is in the problems we are in today is not because the 1997 Constitution is or isn’t the best constitution in the world. No – our problems are because of the way we believe we can prosecute grievances if we have them.

    In other words, our problems are procedural, not content-based.

    So before we can fix our Constitution, we first need to fix OURSELVES of this seemingly never-ending pre-disposition to give credence or support to people who think that going outside the agreed laws is the best way of doing that.

    Remember I told you in one of my other comments that the present, not the future, is the best guide to someone’s character? Well the best guide that you or anyone else would be mature enough to stand up against a possible future coup against MPC come what may, is if they were able to stand up against previous coups COME WHAT MAY!

    “What you are doing today” is not only the best indicator of their character and the way they will react to anything in the future. It also the best indicator of the kind of karma they would be lining up for themselves, too.

    So take your pick, Bud. Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, all you have is the gift of Today – that’s why they call it the present!

  54. Jean d'Ark Says:

    Oh, by the way!

    You wrote “Well Jean, let us see who brought up the comparison of the growth figure after the two coup 2001 vs 2007…”

    OK I accept that this time is different because the Regime has taken a foot-dragging attitude towards returning to normalcy and international respectability, and so is facing a different set of circumstances.

    But it is really a moot point because the 2001 Regime could have faced those EXACT same set of different circumstances if they had made the idiotic decision, say, to pursue the Blueprint come hell or high water – ignoring the courts and the international community.

    I mean, probably the main point of leadership in the first place is to make decisions and choose paths. No point complaining about it afterward if it turned out to be a bad decision. Because that is how we basically assess their suitability as leaders – did they lead us into the right place, and did they make the right decisions along the way getting us here.

    The only thing Frank has done since 2006 is lead Fiji into a political, economic and now Constitutional, dead-end. There was very little evidence of wise decision-making along the way – only an chronic reliance on “damn the torpedoes”, “bust through or bust” obsessiveness every time they hit a dilemma or risky situation.

    You also seem to be forgetting the collective responsibility of Cabinet in this – if they all stand by Frank’s decision to spurn the international community, then that’s it! They are responsible for that choice regardless of whether they argued for or against it when it was being debated behind the closed doors of Cabinet.

    If MPC stayed in Cabinet against his better judgement despite knowing the risks their “bugger off A/NZ/EU” stance would run in terms of Fiji’s economy, then as Colin Powell said to George Bush over Iraq – “you break it – you own it!”

  55. Voreqe Bainimarama Says:

    Get Over it!!!!

    There is nothing any of you can do but just to open all your mouth…. Remember, I’m the one running the state here and playing with my puppet… Be serious, Be realistic…there is no way Qarase is going to remove me from my high chair but just to stair from a distance.

    I wrote that speech so that the President could look intelligent even when he can’t pronounce half the words written on that report.

    The policemen and women posted on the every media outlet is just another way of paying my officers for overtime and waste tax payers money and call it security threat.

    Apart from that…no law or person can stop what I’m doing…..

    Have a Nice Day my fellow citizens and may Ratu Iloilo bless our beloved Country.

  56. Budhau Says:

    Thanks for accepting the fact that the post-coup situation this time around is different from the post coup situation in 2001. We cannot take the numbers from 2001 and compare that to 2007 and blame Chaudary for a bad performance based on those numbers. Of course we can look at the 2007 numbers objectively and make our own decisions as to how Chaudary performed and how another person available as a Finance Minister would have done better job. You seem to believe that Chaudary performed miserably, I believe otherwise.

    Having agreed on that, no let us examine you “foot-dragging” remark. As I said before the goal of this coup seems to be different than that of the 2000 and the 1987 coup. The 2000 coup was an unsuccessful coup overall – and where the elected government should have been reinstalled. However, the international community was willing to overlook the booting out of the FLP government, since the civilian government had promised an early election. This coup is a “succesfull” coup, meaning that the regime has total control of the country.
    They are proposing some fundamental changes to our constitution and the electoral system and that would take much longer than the quick turnaround that we had in 2000. After those proposed changes are made, only than would the handover to a democratically elected government take place. While you may disagree with what the regime is trying to do, or in the manner they are attempting to make those changes, at least one can see why the delay this time around as compared to 2000.

    You seem to suggest that since everyone has agreed with the proposed changes, why don’t we just have an election and have this over with.
    I, on the other hand, think that the talks that were going on are part of that process to make the necessary changes. Once there is an agreement on what the changes would be, we than had to figure out how those changes could be made legally. Prior to the abrogation of the constitution, some folks believed that it would be unconstitutional for this regime to make any changes to the electoral system. Others believed that changes could be made if the elected parliament subsequently endorsed those changes with the required majority. I am not sure which way a court would have gone – however, all I am trying to explain is that the process of making the necessary changes takes time. BTW – anytime we have people in power they almost always play political games to their own advantage. In 2001 it was Qarase who would not allow Chaudary to remain caretaker PM in the follow up to that election, this time around some of the politician types were probably using delaying tactics to regroup and get a political advantage.

    Since some folks in this regime believed that they could work within the constitution and still bring about the proposed change, it is wrong to suggest that the abrogation of the constitution was a foregone conclusion. Qarase’s court case decision left this regime no choice but to abrogate the constitution. Well, they did have the option of calling an election almost immediately – we all knew that really wasn’t an option that the regime would be willing to exercise – of course you can still argue that that’s what they should have done. There are others who would make an argument that the regime could still have found a way to circumvent the Court of Appeal decision and continue with what they were doing. That was their call, and they decided to abrogate the constitution.

    I have been saying all along that if the Regime is pushed against the wall they will abrogate the constitution and if we push them further, without a way out, things would get violent.

    Regardless of how bad the situation was for Qarase and the SDL, they should still have pursued a political solution to this problem. Going to court was not going to solve our problem and we have just seen that it can make the situation worse. Here again, the situation is different than in the Chandrika Prasad case. There, the government of the day could have easily reinstalled Chaudary government and Speight could not have done anything about it – going to the court back then made sense. Here, if the President attempted to do anything that the military did not agree with, the military is still in a position to do whatever they pleased.
    On the 2001 vs 2007 comparison you went to say “But it is really a moot point because the 2001 Regime could have faced those EXACT same set of different circumstances if they had made the idiotic decision, say, to pursue the Blueprint come hell or high water – ignoring the courts and the international community.”

    As I said before the goals of the 2000 coup was met, Chaudary was removed – thus there was no reason to make of those “idiotic decision”. BTW, the decision of this regime, while you may disagree with it, is not idiotic.

    You then went to state, “I mean, probably the main point of leadership in the first place is to make decisions and choose paths. No point complaining about it afterward if it turned out to be a bad decision. Because that is how we basically assess their suitability as leaders – did they lead us into the right place, and did they make the right decisions along the way getting us here.”

    If we are talking about Bainimarama as a leader, while he may have ambitions, he has stated that he would not be running for the PM. His job will be done when the new government is installed. Sure, I also believe that he would like to be the “kingmaker”, and I also don’t believe he is a great leader – but he has the guns – and when your hand is stuck under a rock you slowly pull it out, otherwise it will do serious damage.

    I believe that we were going in the right direction, if some of those proposed changes were made – and most folks do agree with many of the changes proposed for the electoral system. Others bring up the issue of the military trying to get a bigger role in running the country.
    The problem with SDL is its fear of losing power. Any government that had won the next election could have gradually brought about changes – even in the constitution. This military could still have been phased out. The next PM, maybe after Bainimarama retired, could have appointed a new military chief who was more sympathetic to the White paper, that Qarase government were looking at to downsize the military.

    You wrote, “You also seem to be forgetting the collective responsibility of Cabinet in this – if they all stand by Frank’s decision to spurn the international community, then that’s it! They are responsible for that choice regardless of whether they argued for or against it when it was being debated behind the closed doors of Cabinet.”

    The collective responsibility of the Cabinet is Westminster concept. You are not suggesting that we are still operating under a Westminster system. What we have here is a military dictatorship, where either FB is in-charge or he is running the country through the military council. I am sure they have a group of advisors who tell them what their options are. For example, while Bainimarama has some experience abrogating the constitution, I am sure he would have sought legal advice and made the decision based on that and being aware of the consequences. And yes, if one of those guys in the inner circles disagreed with this move he/she would probably still support this move and leave the regime. Those decision they are making, those advisers are also sharp well educated, intelligent folks. Sometimes they don’t get the desired results because there are so many variable that they have no control over.

    You wrote, “If MPC stayed in Cabinet against his better judgment despite knowing the risks their “bugger off A/NZ/EU” stance would run in terms of Fiji’s economy, then as Colin Powell said to George Bush over Iraq – “you break it – you own it!”

    Chaudary, seems to be going along with basic idea that the necessary changes must be made to the electoral system before we have an election. If you see Chaudary as an opportunist, than this is it – the coup has provided this opportunity to make those changes that he had earlier proposed. Remember his position on the Reeves Commission’s proposal on the electoral system and how Rabuka/Reddy went against the Reeves Commission and rather than decreasing the Communal seats, they increased them.

    MC has said on numerous occasions that he is in favour of an early election. He also believes that the process could have been speeded up. You believe the election could have been called asap. Chaudary had said earlier that there should be a 2010 election when we were discussing the 2009 deadline. Just after the constitution was abrogated, and the 2014 date was announced Chaudary immediately made a statement that the 2014 date was not acceptable and there should be an earlier election. What Chaudary is trying to do is a balancing act between letting the regime making the proposed changes and going to poll and doing it as soon as possible so that we can get on with dealing with A/NZ/EU.

    What did most of you, including Qarase, believe a court victory would do for democracy in Fiji?

    BTW – it seems that Jane 1 makes more rational arguments than Jane 11, and overall just a nicer person to deal with. Also while Jane 11 may be more educated, that does not necessarily make him more intelligent – I won’t go as far as calling him (Jane 11) an arsehole.

  57. Relax Man Says:

    all you guys should help in drafting a new constitution with all the BS, sometime facts that you write about so please ring AG and assist!!!

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